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China’s poverty relief progress hailed at international forum

Li Lei
Updated: May 24,2018 8:26 AM     China Daily

China has contributed more than any country to global poverty reduction, and its practices can be used as a model by the rest of the world, foreign participants at the 2018 China Poverty Reduction International Forum said in Beijing on May 23.

China has pulled about 800 million people out of dire poverty in the past four decades, and it has not gone unnoticed. Bekele Debele, the World Bank’s acting country director for China, Mongolia and Korea, said it is the biggest and fastest poverty reduction achievement in human history.

He said China’s efforts contributed considerably to the 2015 United Nations goal of cutting the number of the world’s poor in half, and support the World Bank in its pledge to eradicate extreme poverty globally by 2030.

“China has rich experience in targeted poverty reduction, and that is shareable and scalable,” Debele said, adding that some policies carried out in the last few years by the Chinese government, such as rural revitalization and green development, help eradicate extreme poverty sustainably.

The poverty reduction forum was launched in 2016 to share China’s experience with other developing countries.

About 200 participants from 28 countries, including officials, representatives of international organizations and entrepreneurs, attended this year’s forum. The theme was “Sharing and Promoting Cooperation: Joining Hands in Poverty Reduction”.

China has pledged to eradicate extreme poverty domestically by the end of 2020. The country’s poor population, which stood at more than 98 million at the end of 2012, was cut by two-thirds in the most recent five-year period.

A three-year guideline has been formulated this year to provide a continuous and stable policy environment to fulfill the goal on schedule. Special poverty groups such as the elderly, disabled and those with serious illness will receive greater assistance.

Chen Zhigang, deputy director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, said at the forum that poverty reduction is a thorny issue for China and the world.

“China is willing to expand its interaction in the sector with developing countries so we can learn from each other,” he said.

Considering the similarities of developing countries, the sharing of knowledge is important, said Vincent Martin, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization representative in China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He said countries need to share successful case studies, in addition to policies and strategies.

Seven organizations, including the China Internet Information Center, International Poverty Reduction Center in China and the World Bank, launched a program at the forum — The Global Solicitation and Challenge Prize on Best Poverty Reduction Practices — to gather good practices in poverty reduction.

The program will last until Aug 23, with winners announced in October. The award-winning case studies will be uploaded to a public database.