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China Lifted 100 Mln in Rural Out of Poverty
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China has reduced the number of desperately poor in rural areas from 125 million to 23.65 million since it implemented a carefully-planned, large-scale campaign against rural poverty in 1986, lifting more than 100 million of its poorest inhabitants out of poverty.

Tuesday marks the 14th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Liu Jian, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, the leading organ in China's poverty reduction efforts, made the remarks at the Poverty Reduction Seminar for Developing Countries at Ministerial Level here on Tuesday.

With the sharp decline in its rural poor, China has made a big contribution to poverty reduction worldwide, Liu said.

Statistics from the World Bank show 75 percent of the people lifted out of poverty in the developing world since 1980 were Chinese.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) spoke highly of China's achievements in its 2005 Human Development Report. If the 1 dollar per day poverty standard is applied, poverty incidence in China is now half the level of 1990.

Liu said China's poverty reduction efforts are characterized by government impulsion, social participation, self-reliance and diverse growth initiatives.

"We will encourage society as a whole to join the poverty reduction campaign, and encourage the poor to improve their situation with help from government and through their own efforts," he said.

By the end of 2005, villages with roads, electric power, telephone cables and TV cables made up 79 percent, 95.8 percent, 73.8 percent and 87.6 percent, respectively, of the total number of villages in the poor counties tagged for national support.

About 70 percent of rural households in these counties have safe drinking-water. And 94.7 percent of school-age children are enrolled in primary schools and more and more young people are being educated in agricultural techniques and other occupational skills.

About 73 percent of villages were equipped with medical care rooms and 74 percent enjoyed the services of qualified doctors or medical staff.

The seminar, co-hosted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and the Ministry of Commerce, attracted 20 government officials from 16 countries, as well as officials from the Chinese government, UN organizations and foreign embassies to China.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2006)

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