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Precision Poverty Relief: China's New Anti-Poverty Strategy
Text by Wang Sangui

The “Wall of Amity” outside the headquarters of nongovernmental organization Social Innovation Works at 68 Jiading Road in Qingdao, Shandong Province, in eastern China, is decorated with donated clothes and a note that reads “Take them if you need them.” This creative method of charity has been widely praised by Chinese netizens. CFP

Precision Poverty Alleviation Strategy

In November 2013, President Xi Jinping first put forward the strategy of "precision poverty alleviation" during his visit to Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan Province. So far, the strategy has remained a significant part of China's fight against poverty.

The strategy aims to enhance the relevance and efficacy of poverty relief effort, so as to offset the drop in the effect of economic growth on poverty reduction. The key content of precisionpoverty alleviation is elimination of all the factors and obstacles that cause poverty through targeted assistance for the poor and enabling their self-development towards the goal of sustainable poverty reduction. Simply put, precision poverty alleviation targets every poor household and individual, instead of promoting regional development of poverty-stricken areas. Precision poverty alleviation includes precision in identification, assistance, management, and assessment. Precision identification means identifying poor households and population in a certain way and figuring out the key factors that cause the poverty of those households and population. That is the basis of precision poverty alleviation. Precision assistance means formulating and implementing targeted measures to help different poor households eliminate factors that cause their poverty and enable their self-development after guaranteeing their basic livelihood, thus achieving sustainable poverty reduction. Precision management means registering poor households and population in the records, and timely updating of details, such as family condition, reasons for poverty, and measures taken for assistance. The registration records of poor households and population shall be renewed every year according to changes in their livelihood condition to ensure that all of those in need get appropriate assistance. Precision assessment means, on the one hand, evaluating the results of poverty alleviation projects to ensure that poor households shake off poverty; and, on the other hand, assessing the poverty alleviation performance of local governments, so as to urge them to give priority to reducing poverty and improving people's livelihood.

According to a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the country had 70.17 million below the poverty line at the end of 2014. (It is estimated that the figure will be reduced to 60 million in early 2016). The government has taken a series of measures to further innovate its poverty relief mechanism, so as to facilitate the implementation of its precision poverty alleviation strategy and ensure eradication of poverty by 2020. In terms of precision identification, China has identified 29.48 million poor households with a total population of 89.62 million since 2013. (Currently, the second round of poverty identification is underway, and although the findings are yet to be revealed, it is believed that the identified poor would be less in numbers). Moreover, the country has registered all poor households and population and details about the families, available resources, income sources, and reasons of poverty in the national poverty alleviation information system.


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