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More funds to pull people out of poverty (3)

By Chen Xin (China Daily)

08:40, October 18, 2012

To alleviate poverty, Huang Chengwei, a researcher with Beijing-based International Poverty Reduction Center in China, suggests an improvement of the country's social security system.

Although the system has been basically established, it has yet to efficiently benefit the poor, he said.

"Currently, the poorer a place is the less social security benefits its people will enjoy. But those people are the ones who need such benefits the most," said Huang.

Huang called for more government funding for social security to make the system cover more people living in poverty.

In some Western and Northern European nations, 50 percent of the government budget is spent on social security and welfare. In the United States, the figure is around 30 percent, but in China, the proportion was just more than 16 percent in 2009, according to Huang.

Wang Sangui, an agriculture studies professor at Renmin University of China, said providing more job opportunities will be an efficient means to increase rural residents' income and help them get out of poverty.

"We still need to develop labor-intensive industries, especially in remote small cities and towns. That can help attract surplus rural laborers living in poverty to work in factories and raise their incomes," he said.

To raise the public's awareness about poverty, some media and social organizations called on the public to spend a day living off 6.3 yuan, or slightly over $1, on Wednesday.

The 6.3 yuan figure is the average daily income of Chinese farmers who just live on the poverty line.

Wang said spending 6.3 yuan a day will help people living in cities have a better understanding about poverty.

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