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Home >> China
UPDATED: 10:51, July 03, 2007
ADB to give $1m to help fight poverty
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will contribute nearly $1 million to help alleviate poverty in China, a senior ADB economist has said.

Christopher Spohr, a social sector economist based in Beijing, told China Daily that the money will be used for projects co-funded by the ADB and the Ministry of Finance. They include a water resource conservation scheme in Beijing and Hebei and a project to help "left behind" children whose parents have migrated to cities for employment.

The ADB funds will largely be used for technical assistance.

Other projects, coordinated by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOP), will also explore new ways of combating poverty.

These include the mobilization of volunteers, the development of web-based networks for poverty reduction and research on distinct models for poverty reduction in different ecological zones.

Spohr said the cooperation comes at a time when China had embarked on an important new paradigm of balanced and people-centered development.

Building on the country's success in helping reduce poverty will require new models, viable operational mechanisms and better inter-sectoral coordination, he said.

"Success will require innovative approaches in areas ranging from fiscal policy to social development and environmental protection, while resolving challenges surrounding poverty will be fundamental to achieving the government's goal of creating a harmonious society."

China faces a new poverty context, which combines persistent absolute poverty, the vulnerability of a large population living on the brink of poverty, new manifestations of urban poverty, and interlinkages between non-income poverty and social development, Spohr said.

Wu Zhong, the director of the department of international affairs of the LGOP said the biggest challenge for the poverty alleviation work is how to shorten the gap between the poor and the rich. The technical assistance carried out through international cooperation will explore the new policy for the government.

"These projects, though small in scale will be very useful and have a large impact," Wu said.

The projects will also build on pilot testing partnerships between NGOs and the government, by exploring the broader mobilization of civil society in national poverty efforts, Spohr said. "I see the engagement of civil society as a critical new threshold for achieving harmonious, people-centered development."

Source: China Daily

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