GOAL 1 – CHINA
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
From the time it became an open economy , China has achieved landmark results in poverty alleviation, becoming the earliest developing country to fulfil its poverty alleviation targets as set out in the United Nations Millenium Development Goals. Over the past three decades, China has managed to feed a population that accounts for 9 % percent of the world’s arable land and 6percent of the world’s fresh water. In 2009, China adopted per capita net income RMB1, 196 as the new national poverty line.
The rural reform that was started in 1978 laid a good foundation for rural poverty alleviation. The extensive 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.
Since 2002, the Chinese Government has coordinated its planning for urban and rural development within a poverty-reduction framework that includes industrial, regional and social policies. In 2007, the Chinese Government made way for the establishment of a minimum living standard allowance system, and arrangements were made to meet the basic needs of the rural poor.
Target 1A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $ 1 a day
1. Current Situation
Using the poverty line set by the Chinese Government, the number of the poor people in China’s rural areas fell from 85 million people in 1990 (9.6percent of the total rural population) to 35.97 million people in 2009 (3.8percent of the total rural population). China is the first developing country to achieve the MDG poverty reduction target before its proposed deadline. Another indicator used for Target 1A is the poverty gap ratio, which reflects not only the number of poor people, but also how far their incomes are below the poverty line. the ratio has fallen by 75 percent between 2005 and 2000.
China, however, has achieved commendable progress by addressing the global financial crisis with active financial policies and a slightly loose monetary polic. The country has plan that focuses on the expansion of domestic demand. Employment opportunities, the price of agricultural products, and the operation and management of enterprises, are all stable. Due of the introduction of the minimum subsistence guarantee system for urban and rural residents, the basic needs of poor groups in both urban and rural areas can be largely met. The net income of farmers nationwide has increased by 8.5percent, of which the key areas launching work to support the poor have witnessed an increase of 9.2percent. The poverty alleviation situation appears to be smooth and stable.
2. Government Support
China’s sustained economic growth is the reason for its progress in reducing poverty. From1978 to 2009, China maintained an average annual GDP growth rate of 9.9percent, with GDP per capita rising from RMB381 to RMB25,188. This has produced a supportive atmosphere and material conditions to promote pro poor development. The government has always kept in mind rural poverty reduction when planning for the mid- and long-term national economy and social development. Leading groups for Poverty Reduction with the broad multi-sectoral participation are are very much present and active at different levels of governments, responsible for coordinating poverty reduction resources and implementation of poverty reduction programs. National poverty reduction standards have been adjusted according to levels of economic development and the national financial situation and the levels of basic living costs in rural areas, while the key areas targeted for support have been determined according to the distribution of the poor. The Chinese Government has also routinely increased funding for poverty reduction. Between 1980 and 2009 it set aside over RMB198 billion for its special poverty alleviation fund, with average annual increases of 16.5percent. It also arranged discount funding for poverty reduction loans. Funding from local governments is on a continuous increase.
- Wide social participation and active international cooperation have also been important factors.
- Party and governmental organs, mass organizations, Private sector enterprises and large state-owned companies have assisted 481 key targeted counties.
- The better developed provinces and cities in eastern China have helped 11 poorer western provinces and cities.
- Since the 1990s, China has actively pursued a participatory poverty reduction. The approach engages the poor in poverty reduction programs and treats the poor as independent, capable individuals who can contribute and increase their own capacity for development. China works on self development model. Effective steps have also been adopted to help poor groups with special needs, such as women, children and the disabled. China’s community- driven approach for poverty reduction is at the core of it’s progress.
At present, China is still in the initial stages of socialism. The general level of economic-social development is still not very high. There are contradictions that restrict the development of poor people:
1) China still has a large number of poor people. The degree of poverty remains high.
2) unbalanced Development. Development in poor areas still lags behind that of the wealthier parts of the country, and there remain significant problems for poor groups with particular needs.
3) Poverty-causing factors are increasing with each passing day. The international financial crisis and more importantly frequent natural disasters brings to light the helplessness of the hard working poor to external factors that can cause them to fall back into poverty.
4) The strengthening of public services and social security systems is still in its early stages. The pressure to prevent people from sliding back into poverty is especially high.
5) The income gap continues to widen between urban and rural areas in different regions. .
6) More pro-poor economic policies are needed to enable people to have equal access to public services. Financial policies should ensure the poor population to access to financial services in rural areas. Land policies should be more protective of farmers’ rights.
7) Disaggregated data collection and analysis should be improved to better supervise the poverty situation.
Target 1B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
As China has a large population with a huge labour force, employment for all is naturally a challenge:
- In 2007, the Chinese Government enacted the Employment Promotion Law and the Labour Contract Law to promote employment and safeguard the rights of workers.
- It weaves employment with its targets for macro-adjustment and regulation of the national economy, as well as social development.
- The Chinese Government promotes employment and carries out active employment policies.
- The Chinese Government attaches significant importance to women’s employment. It has formulated and enacted active employment policies for women, and worked hard towards helping them to secure jobs.
The Chinese Government places a lot of importance on the future of the youth and thus has formed certain beneficial policies for them:
1) Encouraging and guiding college graduates to work in grass-root units in urban and rural areas. 2 2) Encouraging college graduates to work in medium and small-sized enterprises and non public-owned enterprises.
3)Encouraging science and technology research projects to admit college graduates.
4) Encouraging and supporting college graduates to start their own businesses.
5) Strengthening employment services for college graduates.
6)Upgrading the employment capacity of college graduates by organizing internships or fieldwork
that ensures them a chance to gain valuable experience before they leave school.
7)Strengthening assistance to college graduates in financial difficulties.
- As of July 1, 2009, 68 percent of college/university graduates found their first job prior to their graduation.
- By the end of December 2009, 87.4percent of the year’s graduates were employed.
Target 1C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
1. Current Situation
- China succeeded in reducing its ratio of underweight children by more than 50 percent between 1990 and 2005.
- 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, and milk and eggs indicates an upward trend in dietary consumption, both in terms of quality and nutrition .
2. Government Support
The Chinese Government lays importance on the assurance of grain security in its economic work, and, has positioned the development of grain production as its most important task.. The National Development and Reform Committee kickstarted 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 percent self-sufficiency rate. The Government is pledging the strictest possible protection systems for arable land, and is committed to achieving no less than 0.12 billion hectares of arable land nationwide by 2020.
The Chinese Government is committed to sustainable growth in agriculture. It has decided to achieve increase in grain output each year. It pumps in a lot of funds into agriculture especially in the rural areas, to ensure that government financial expenditure goes first and foremost towards supporting the development of agriculture and the rural areas. It also plans to increase its current 0.5percent input into agricultural science and technology to 1percent as soon as possible, in order to meet average global levels. Agricultural infrastructure will also be strengthened. Emphasis is to be placed on construction and the maintenance of water conservancy facilities, on water collection and water-saving irrigation projects in north-west China, on the development of terraced fields in mountainous areas, and on the construction of raised fields in saline-alkali land in coastal low-lands, etc.
1) the increasing demand for grain will remain unchanged In the medium- and longterm, the impact of the international financial situation and the energy market on the Chinese grain market will become more and more apparent.
2) Grain production increases are facing more restrictions than ever before. There are a number of factors. Firstly, there are more restrictions on water and soil resources than existed previously. The amount of arable land continues to shrink as industrialization and urbanization accelerate.
Secondly, the comparative economic returns of grain-growing have been relatively low for some time now. This is dangerous for the protection of farmers’ livelihoods,
Mobilizing farmers into action, and to encouraging initiative among farmers.
Thirdly, the quality of agricultural laborers is decreasing.
Most young adults in rural areas have left the countryside to become migrant workers. This inhibits the enhancement of grain-related science and technology.
Fourth, there are more uncertainties because of climate change than ever before. China is often faces disasters such as flood and drought, and is also affected by monsoons.