China`s rural poverty dips further to 100 million: Report
China still had some 100 million rural residents living in poverty though their numbers dwindled to nearly 67 million during 2010 to 2012, according to an official report.
Beijing: China still had some 100 million rural residents living in poverty though their numbers dwindled to nearly 67 million during 2010 to 2012, according to an official report.
By the end of 2012, there were nearly 100 million rural residents still living in poverty, the report issued by the State Council or China`s cabinet, said.
The latest figure was conveyed to lawmakers at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People`s Congress (NPC), China`s parliament last week.
The director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, Liu Yongfu said the per capita annual net income in key counties affected by poverty increased from 3,273 yuan (537 US dollars) to 4,602 yuan (753 US dollars) in the 2010 to 2012 period, annual growth of 18.6 per cent.
Infrastructure in these areas has constantly improved, said the report. A highway linking Tibet`s Medog County, the last roadless county in China, opened to traffic in October 2013.
Rural education has moved forward. At the end of last year, 97 per cent of children at age of 7-15 in key counties had attended school.
A development-oriented poverty reduction outline for rural China (2011-2020), which was promulgated in 2011, set the per capita annual net income of 2300 yuan as the new rural poverty threshold, significantly up on the original standard.
In 2011, the Chinese central government put 227 billion yuan of into the poverty relief fund, up 40.4 per cent from the previous year. In 2012, the figure reached 300 billion yuan, up 32 per cent year-on-year.
Prosperous provinces and cities have shared fiscal funds with disadvantaged provinces and cities to help fight poverty, the report said.
However, challenges still exist. Many children in remote areas walk two to three hours a day to school and dropout rates in those areas are high.
Medical expenses in poor counties were 60 per cent of the average rural level. Many are unable to see doctors when necessary, Liu said in the report.
The poverty stricken areas are usually ecologically fragile, making poverty relief more difficult. Many rural people are dragged into poverty by natural disasters or ill health.
A national poverty relief information database will be established to get a better picture of the overall poverty situation and make the work more specific, the report said.