China on track to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of 2020 despite pandemic: report

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/15 14:23:41

Asia Poverty Reduction Report 2020. Photo: Li Xuanmin/GT

China is on track to eradicate extreme poverty as planned by the end of this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic providing mounting challenges to the agenda, and China's fights against poverty will also empower other developing nations on their way toward sustainable development, said a report by the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) released in Beijing on Tuesday. 

The number of people in absolute poverty in China has decreased substantially, with income poverty closing to elimination since China launched the targeted poverty alleviation strategy in 2012, said the report titled Asia Poverty Reduction Report 2020.

As China is about to eliminate extreme poverty by the end of 2020, it will make "itself the first developing country that reaches the 'No Poverty' goal of the Sustainable Development Goals," chairman of BFA Ban Ki-moon said via video at the report's launch ceremony. 

"Such a remarkable achievement is a 'miracle' in human history - it means that one-fifth of the world's population will now be secure with food and necessities and have access to basic welfare," Ban said.

China is due to finish its task of poverty relief by the end of 2020 by lifting a remaining 5.51 million poor out of poverty.

By the end of 2019, the rural poverty headcount ratio fell to 1.4 percent, from 23.2 percent at the end of 2012, reducing by 3.1 percentage points year by year on average, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistic. And since the beginning of reform and opening-up in 1978, China has managed to lift more than 700 million people out of poverty, or the equivalent to Europe's population.

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted income for the poor and those recently lifted out of poverty, but the Chinese government has launched a slew of macro-level adjustments relating to poverty reduction policies, which has minimized the impact of pandemic on poverty reduction against the backdrop of broad pandemic prevention.

The effective measures include creating job opportunities for poor groups through multiple channels and promoting the sales of agricultural products based on consumption-led poverty reduction.

The Chinese government has also set up monitoring and targeted support mechanisms to prevent relapse into poverty for the poor, which acts as an example for other Asian developing economies that are undergoing social economic transformation, the report said. 

The growth projections from2020 Global Economic Prospects report in June show that COVID-19 could push 70 million to 100 million people into poverty. And the global extreme poverty rate, as a result, would rise from 8.23 percent in 2019 to around 8.82 percent this year. 

And nearly half of the people at risk of falling into poverty reside in South Asia.

Global Times


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