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15 mln impoverished disabled people live in rural China


20:27, April 10, 2013

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- About 15 million disabled people live below China's poverty line in the country's rural areas, the China Disabled Persons' Federation revealed Wednesday.

The group accounts for about 12 percent of the country's total population living in poverty, according to a statement from the organization.

The poverty threshold for China's rural residents is set at an annual net income of 2,300 yuan (365 U.S. dollars), or around 1 U.S. dollar a day.

Most of these disabled people have extremely limited income and mainly depend on government assistance and family support, the statement said.

Due to their physical conditions, many are unable to work, so most poverty reduction programs are unable to help them improve their financial situations, it said.

Even when a disabled person's income improves, a single accident, like falling ill, could throw that person back into poverty, it added.

The federation called for more government investment and private capital in poverty-reduction programs designed especially for disabled rural residents.

The money should go toward vocational training for disabled people, counselling programs and small loans to help them find livelihoods or start their own businesses, the statement said.

The country has already established about 5,200 poverty-reduction centers for disabled people, but these centers require preferential policies and stable funding, it said.

Also on Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that it will send technicians to help disabled farmers in the spring farming season and encourage local cooperatives to reach out to these farmers.

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