China launched the Poverty Eradication Award on Friday to honor those who have made significant contributions to China's anti-poverty campaign.
The award was initiated by the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), a major non-governmental organization on poverty reduction in China, and the first group of awardees will be named on the same day next year after public appraisal.
The award consists of eight categories, including an Achievement Award for those with great influence in reducing poverty, an Innovation Award for people finding new ways to fight poverty, a Struggle Award for rural people who enrich themselves and many fellows and an International Award for contributors from abroad.
"The award will help trigger innovation in the anti-poverty campaign," said Liu Wenkui, deputy secretary-general of CFPA. Liu said the award will be granted every other year.
"Poverty relief is a kind of science and we have been exploring various methods in this field by first delivering alms to the poor, lending them loans and then giving them professional training," Liu said.
China had reduced its needy population from 250 million in 1978 to 30 million in 2000, according to official statistics. The needy population refer to those with an annual income of less than 625 yuan (US$75.3).
In 2001, the Chinese government mapped out a new anti-poverty program to deal with the problems of the 30 million needy people and about 10 percent of those with an annual income of less than 865 yuan (US$104.21).
In 1992, the United Nations set Oct. 17 as the International Day of Poverty Eradication.
(Xinhua News Agency October 17, 2003)