Alleviation strategy gives priority to reducing cycle of child poverty

09:27, May 27, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

China will give priority to poverty reduction and development issues for children as part of its rural poverty alleviation strategy during the next 10 years, said a senior official.

Students at a primary school in Fengshan county, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, have only rice as their lunch, on May 19. Zhou Enge / for China Daily

Lifting children out of poverty will effectively break the cycle of poverty, preventing it from continuing in the next generation, said Zheng Wenkai, deputy chief of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Zheng made the remarks at the country's first Child Poverty and Development Forum, which was held in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on Thursday.

However, there are no official statistics showing how many children live in poverty in China.

A survey on young people in 18 counties of five provinces including Anhui and Fujian in 2010 revealed that 4.9 percent of the respondents live in poverty. The research was conducted by Peking University and Beijing Normal University in 2010.

China has a population of 309 million under the age of 18, of which 60 percent live in rural areas.

The survey findings suggest there are an estimated 9 million minors living in poverty in rural China, said Song Wenzhen, director of the children's department of the National Working Committee on Children and Women.

China has made remarkable achievements in improving children's living conditions, as the country's child mortality rate has dropped by 67 percent in the past two decades and it has realized universal basic education, said Gillian Mellsop, representative of the United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) in China.

Despite the encouraging development, China also faces many challenges in its efforts to create a poverty-free childhood for all children.

A considerable number of poor children, especially those in the countryside, still struggle with malnutrition and even hunger.

"Sometimes, I can't pay attention in class in the afternoons because I feel starved since I often don't have lunch," said Liu Yan, a 12-year-old student from Hongban village, Southwest China's Guizhou province.

The girl told China Daily that corn was the only staple food at her family's dining table. Due to the distance between her home and school, most of the time she was not able to rush home for lunch.

"Poverty experienced in childhood may have lifelong consequences," said Mellsop from UNICEF.

She urged China to take a multi-dimensional approach, which combines intervention with education, health and other social services, to address child poverty.

Source: China Daily
Wen Jiabao attends trilateral leaders' meeting of China,Japan and ROK
The Third China-U.S.Strategic and Economic Dialogue
  Weekly review  
May 20   World Economic Forum China office marks fifth anniversary
May 18   China, Pakistan joined in bonds of brotherhood
May 20   'Central axis' of Beijing applies for world cultural heritage
May 20   In pictures: Int'l 'Financial Security' symposium opens in Beijing
May 21   The week in pictures
May 16   Beijing aims for massive influx of overseas talent in 2011
May 16   Singapore election coverage shows Western arrogance
May 16   Chinese naval helicopter conducts target practice in Gulf of Aden
May 17   Strategies for harmony between militaries of China, US
May 17   Pakistani Prime Minister hails China as true friend


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • 3rd Anniversary Of Wenchuan Earthquake
  • Third China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Danjiangkou Reservoir suffering from extreme drought
  • Miami Heat reach NBA finals
  • Taipei 101, landmark in SE China
  • First underwater tunnel built in Wuhan
  • Mascot of National Red Games makes debut
  • China Association for Science and Technology holds national congress
Hot Forum Dicussion