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China Poverty Reduction Intl Forum held in Beijing

The 2016 China Poverty Reduction International Forum was held in Beijing on May 8. The participants discussed how China’s experience in poverty reduction can better help other countries.

At the 2016 China Poverty Reduction International Forum, some 80 guests discussed how China’s experience of alleviating poverty can better help other countries and regions. They also launched a new website, which aims to become a platform to share knowledge about poverty reduction, as well as best practices in China and around the world.

China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty in the past 30 years, accounting for about 70 percent of those brought out of poverty worldwide. An official from the UN hailed China’s strategy of combining the efforts of a range of sectors.

“The combination of efforts, that it’s not one player, or one entity to eliminate poverty, it’s a combination of all stake holders. So the government must play a leading coordinating role, but the involvement of private sector is extremely important,” said Niels Knudsen, assistant country director of United Nations Development Program.

Despite the achievements, many people in China are still struggling under the poverty line. Four-year-old Jingjing is one of them. She suffers from an acute form of leukemia, which has caused a severe appendicitis infection. As many of her medicines are not covered under government healthcare insurance, the family’s savings are quickly drying up.

They have already spent more than 400,000 yuan (about $80,000) on her treatment. Most of the money is borrowed from friends and relatives. The situation is so desperate that Jingjing’s grandmother has even thought about abandoning her.

“I said to her, one day when grandma runs out of money, I might have to give you up,” said Li Defeng, Jingjing’s grandmother.

According to a document released by the poverty alleviation office of China’s State Council, more than 40 percent of Chinese people living in poverty are impoverished by health-related illnesses. Other causes included poor geographical conditions and infrastructure, and a lack of labor forces.

To help these people, China is now promoting an approach called “precise poverty alleviation.” Unlike the country’s previous method of targeting a large group of people, the new approach targets one individual person or family.

“They will go to individual families, and find out their conditions, including the average income and the causes of poverty. They will make a tailored plan specifically targeting individual persons or families. The plan will need to get agreement from the family as well,” said Li Guoxiang, researcher of Rural Development Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Science.