Poverty-stricken population in western China reduced by 33 million in 10 years

13:52, July 09, 2010      

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The poverty-stricken population in western China has dropped from 57.3 million in 2000 to 23.7 million in 2009, a decrease of 33.6 million during the past 10 years, according to the State Council Leading Group Office for Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Since the western development plan was implemented, China has continued to increase investments in poverty reduction and development in the west, and strengthen the poverty-relief work. The central government allocated poverty relief funds to western regions totaling 72 billion yuan from 2001 to 2009, accounting for over 63 percent of national poverty relief funds.

China aims to generally eliminate absolute poverty in western regions by 2020 and raise the per capita income of farmers in those major counties targeted for poverty reduction to above the country's average.

Following the implementation of the western development strategy over the past 10 years, particularly the China's Rural Poverty Alleviation and Development Program (2001-2010), China has continued to step up efforts for poverty reduction and development in western regions.

By the end of 2009, 50,000 poverty-stricken villages in western regions implemented plans to promote poverty reduction across villages, including 38,000 villages that are home to ethnic minority groups with small populations or those located in major inland counties, border areas and old revolutionary base areas.

The poverty-alleviation units have conducted pilot poverty-reduction work in 96 counties in western regions and allocated each pilot county 10 million yuan as poverty-reduction funds, which has effectively advanced economic development and steady growth in the incomes of impoverished households in the pilot counties.

According to related data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the poverty occurrence rate in western regions was down from more than 20 percent in 2000 to about 8 percent in 2009.

By People's Daily Online


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