China- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

by tybmmjourno

By- Ruchi Nandu

China has successfully achieved in eradicating poverty and hunger by becoming the first developing country to complete the Millennium Development Goal 1 (Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger) Target before 2015. Over the past three decades, China has managed to feed a population that accounts for 22% of the population of the world. In 2009, China adopted per capita net income Renminbi 1,196 as the new national poverty line, upon which bases its rural poor population dropped from 0.25 billion in 1978 to 35.79 million in 2009.

MDGs and Indicators Progress
Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day
B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Already metPotentiallyAlready met

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The Chinese government started rural reform in 1978. The poverty reduction and development programs began in 1986 in a well-planned and organized way, and the basic needs of the rural poor have gradually been met over the time. In 2007, the Chinese Government made preparations for the establishment of a minimum living standard allowance system and institutional arrangements were made to meet the basic needs of the rural poor. [1]In October 2008, the resolution of the 3Rd Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China clearly specified the implementation of new standards for helping the poor, including policies that offered support for low-income earners.

The number of the poor people in China’s rural areas fell from 85 million people (1990) to 35.97 million people (2009). From 1990 to 2005, the number of people worldwide living on less than US $1 per day fell by 418 million to 1.4 billion. (Millennium Development Goal 2010 Report)

According to the data released by the World Bank, in the past 25 years, 70% of people who had been lifted out of poverty were Chinese. China has achieved progress by addressing financial crisis by implementing financial policies and a plan which focuses on the development of the domestic demand. Employment opportunities, the price of agricultural products, and the operation and management of ventures are secured. According to the Millennium Development Goal report, 2010, the net income of farmers nationwide has increased by 8.5%, of which the work to support the poor have increased by 9%. The basic needs of the poor groups in urban and rural areas have been met.


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One of the major reasons for China’s progress in reducing poverty is its sustained economic growth. From 1978 to 2009, China maintained an average annual GDP growth rate of 9.9% with GDP per capita rising from RMB 381 to RMB 25,188 (The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2010)

The Chinese government has always prioritized rural poverty reduction when planning the socio-economic development. The Chinese Government has regularly increased the funding for poverty reduction. Between 1980 and 2009 it allocated over RMB 198 billion for its special poverty alleviation fund, with average annual increases of 16.5%. It also arranged discount funding for poverty reduction loans. In addition, the funding from local governments has continually expanded.

Another reason for China’s progress in reducing poverty is by providing employment to women and young people. According to the China’s progress towards the millennium development goals 2010 report, by the end of 2008, China had employed 775 million people throughout the country out of whom 45.4% were women. In 2009 another 11.02 million people in urban areas found jobs; 5.14 million laid-off workers were re-employed; 1.64 million people who had previously By the end of 2009 the registered unemployment rate in urban areas was 4.3%, representing an increase of 0.1% on the end of  2008. The employment situation for college graduates and migrant workers was also basically stable. By the end of December 2009 the employment rate for 2009 college graduates was 87.4%.


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Between 1990 and 2005, China successfully succeeded in reducing the ratio of underweight children by more than 50%. Change is taking place in the dietary structure of the Chinese people. The consumption of grain is decreasing while the average daily intake of fruit, meat, milk and eggs is increasing.



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China is becoming competent in grain provision. Since 2004, it has had grain harvests for six successive years. The grain output has remained at and above 0.5 billion tons.


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The Chinese government believes that the most important task is the development of grain production. It strives to build and modernize the agricultural systems. The National Development and Reform Committee propagated the “Production Capability Planning (2009–2020) for another 100 Billion KG of Grain Nationwide”, which specifies that by 2020 grain output must reach 545 billion kg in order to maintain a 95% self-sufficiency rate.

The Chinese Government has formulated an “Outline for the Development of Food and Nutrition in China (2001-2010)”, which focuses on the development of dairy products, the soybean industry and the food processing industry. In addition, it focuses on rural areas and the western regions and also on the issue of food and nutrition for the three key groups: children and teenagers, women and babies, and the elderly people. The Outline aims to help to reduce the rate of illnesses due to malnutrition. It also aims to encourage breastfeeding of children under the age of 4 months, and to introduce supplementary food for infants above the age of 4 months. “The Outline for the Development of Food and Nutrition in China (2011-2020)” is currently under formulation.

However, even after meeting the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating poverty and hunger before 2015, China’s general level of economic-social development is still not very high.   Urban poverty has become an emerging issue. In addition, there still exists the issue of labor oversupply and the structural disparity between labor supply and labor demand. As people’s livelihoods continue to improve, livestock products increase and the food processing industry develops at a pace, the increasing demand for grain will remain unchanged which will lead to problems in future. Firstly, there are more restrictions on water and soil resources than existed previously. Secondly, the quality of agricultural laborers is decreasing. Most young adults in rural areas have left the countryside to become migrant workers. Lastly, there are more uncertainties because of climate change than ever before. The country needs to have systematic plans, strategies or policies to address this challenge.



[1] Millennium Development Goal 2010 Report