China has vowed to lift 148,000 villages out of poverty by 2010.
The plan would benefit 23.6 million people, 80 percent of the
country's rural poor.
Liu Jian, director of the Chinese State Council Leading Group
Office for Poverty Alleviation and Development, made the remarks
yesterday at the Ministerial Level Poverty Reduction Seminar for
Developing Countries in Beijing.
"Ten percent of the nation's poverty-reduction funds will be
used in job training for rural people in the next five years so
that the group can enter the non-agricultural job market," Liu
"The State Council has recognized 30 labour pilot training bases
across the country. A sound training network will take shape, and
it is expected 90 percent of the rural population will find jobs
after they are trained."
The country will also give more support to major enterprises
that contribute the most to the poverty reduction cause at the
local level. To date the Leading Group Office has authorized 260
such enterprises, which help more than 13 million poor people.
China launched its poverty reduction campaign in 1986. Up to
2005, poverty alleviation aid had reached 125.6 billion yuan
(US$15.7 billion), as well as 200 billion yuan (US$25 billion) in
interest-free loans, the Leading Group Office report said.
The number of people living in absolute poverty, those earning
less than 683 yuan (US$85.38) a year, decreased from 125 million in
1985 to 23.65 million at the end of 2005, the report said.
More than 70 percent of villages in 592 counties originally
included in the poverty alleviation plan had access to roads,
electricity, telephone service, satellite TV, safe drinking water
and healthcare services at the end of 2005. The enrolment rate of
school-age children was 94.7 percent.
The number of people lifted out of poverty in China represents
75 percent the total of all developing countries, the report
"The Chinese leadership has formulated an ambitious vision of
balanced development quite similar to the Millennium Development
Goals," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote in a congratulatory
letter released yesterday. "The UN applauds the emphasis on
reducing inequality and promoting growth that is both sustainable
Liu said that aside from its domestic progress, China would like
to become an international platform for exchange and collaboration
on poverty reduction among developing countries.
China also issued China Poverty Eradication Awards yesterday to
12 individuals and organizations to mark the International Day for
the Eradication of Poverty.
In a written speech to the ceremony, Premier Wen Jiabao said the
eradication of poverty in China requires a sustained and long-term
effort, and governments must do more to improve living conditions
in underdeveloped regions.
Poverty eradication is a historic task for China, said Wen,
adding that society should support and take part in the efforts
being made and that anti-poverty models should be widely
Among the winners were the United Nations Development Programme,
China Construction Bank, the China Children and Teenagers' Fund,
the China Lifeline Express Foundation and several individuals such
as Wang Guangmei, the wife of former Chairman of People's Republic
Liu Shaoqi, who passed away on Friday.
(China Daily October 18, 2006)