Commentary: China's children must be alleviated from poverty

10:03, May 27, 2011      

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Children hold the promise of a country's future, so there can never be too much importance attached to the question of child poverty.

However, despite various aid programs, the central government has yet to make an overall detailed plan to help children living in poverty.

But the inclusion of child poverty as one of the 10 major target groups for the government's poverty alleviation efforts in the coming 10 years is an important step in the right direction.

It is estimated that the total number of children living in poverty is around 9 million nationwide, especially in the central and western regions.

Whether these children will be able to get access to what they need for their healthy growth both physically and spiritually will have a great bearing on the future of poverty alleviation in the country.

Giving these children a better upbringing so that they create a better adult life on their own will enable them to escape the poverty their parents lived in.

In addition, once equipped with enough knowledge and capability to help themselves tackle whatever difficulties come their way, they will become an important force for their hometowns' economic development and social progress.

A detailed national plan is needed to alleviate child poverty and the central as well as local governments should allocate money from their coffers to ensure the plan succeeds.

A mechanism also needs to be established to make sure that the plan is implemented properly.

Experts should be organized to conduct investigations into child poverty and identify where and how the money should be spent to achieve the most desirable effects.

Despite the claim by some charity programs that 3 yuan (45 US cents) will provide a poverty-stricken student with a free lunch, a mechanism is needed to make sure that State welfare can be extended to more than just a free meal for children in poor rural areas.

Following the lead of some non-governmental organizations, hopefully, the central government and their local counterparts will take concrete action. And substantial progress can be made to help all children living in poverty.

Source: China Daily
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