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Poverty

Ending poverty in China: What explains great poverty reduction and a simultaneous increase in inequality in rural areas?

Guobao Wu's picture
Also available in: 中文
This blog is part of a series produced to commemorate End Poverty Day (October 17), focusing on China – which has contributed more than any other country to global poverty reduction – and its efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030. Read this blog series.
 
Reducing poverty and inequality are two important socioeconomic policy objectives for most countries. While some can kill two birds with one stone, others may achieve either or none of these. In China’s special case, poverty reduction goes together with an increase in income inequality for at least the past 20 years. Here, I address some of  the underling factors in this mismatched trajectory.
 
For quite a long time, economic growth, increase in income inequality and reduction of poverty concurred in China. Since 1980, the country has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty. The head count ratio of poverty by the official poverty line, which is about 21% higher than the line that is set at USD 1.9 per day (2011 PPP), has been reduced by 94% from 1980 to 2015 in rural China (figure 1).
 
In contrast, the Gini coefficient of income distribution among rural residents in China rose from 0.241 in 1980 to 0.39 in 2011 or by 62% according to the official estimation, though it once declined between 1980 and 1985 and was said to decline slightly after 2012.

Figure 1: Change in Poverty head count ratio and Gini coefficient in rural China since 1980
Sources: China National Bureau of Statistics (2015), Poverty Monitoring Report of Rural China, China Statistics Press; the data for poverty by USD 1.9 per day is from PovcalNet: the online tool for poverty measurement developed by the Development Research Group of the World Bank.

Câu hỏi cấp thiết nhất về xóa nghèo ở Việt Nam là gì? Hãy hỏi Giám đốc Quốc gia WB Việt Nam

Ousmane Dione's picture
Also available in: English

Việt Nam đã đạt được những thành tựu ấn tượng về phát triển và hàng triệu người đã thoát nghèo. Nhưng vẫn còn nhiều thách thức.

Hôm nay, khi chúng ta kỷ niệm ngày Quốc tế về Xóa nghèo và Ngày Vì Người nghèo Việt Nam, hãy nghĩ về câu hỏi quan trọng nhất về giảm nghèo tại Việt Nam. Bạn muốn biết thêm điều gì về đảm bảo cơ hội bình đẳng? Về phát triển cho mọi người? Chia sẻ thịnh vượng chung?
 

What is your most urgent question on reducing poverty in Vietnam? Ask the World Bank Vietnam Country Director

Ousmane Dione's picture
Also available in: Tiếng Việt

As we commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of #Poverty and #Vietnam’s Day for the Poor today, think what’s the most important question you want to ask about reducing poverty in Vietnam. What do you want to know about ensuring equal opportunities? About social #inclusion? Shared prosperity?  

Post your questions at www.facebook.com/worldbankvietnam and we will collect the top 5 questions asked within the next two days.  

参与中国扶贫20年有感

Alan Piazza's picture
Also available in: English
这是纪念1017日国际消除贫困日的中国系列博客文章中的的一篇,中国对全球减贫事业的贡献超过世界任何国家,中国正在全力实现到2020年消除极端贫困的宏伟目标。 点击此处浏览系列中其他博客。
 
从1978年的农村改革开始,中国在全球减少极端贫困的努力中发挥了先导作用。世界银行从1981年以来为中国经济的持续高速增长和大规模减贫的成功提供了协助。
 
从1990年开始,我有幸与中国国务院扶贫办合作,参与了非常成功的扶贫项目。我亲眼目睹了在中国所有最贫困的地区彻底消除了最严重的极端贫困现象。我曾深入到中国西部和山区的数百个贫困农村,上世纪90年代的普遍的情况是,很多农户没有解决基本的温饱,大部分农户及其子女营养不良,大部分学龄儿童读不完小学,当地没有基本的医疗卫生服务,道路不通,缺少清洁饮用水和其他基本的基础设施。
Alan与项目区孩子们的合影, 图片: Alan Piazza

Ending poverty in China: A 20-year perspective from staff in the frontlines

Alan Piazza's picture
Also available in: 中文
This blog is part of a series produced to commemorate End Poverty Day (October 17), focusing on China – which has contributed more than any other country to global poverty reduction – and its efforts to end extreme poverty by 2020. Read the blog series here.
 
Since the beginnings of the rural economic reform process in 1978, China has played the lead role in the global effort to overcome absolute poverty. The World Bank has, since 1981, assisted China both in the country’s extraordinary overall economic growth and its tremendously successful poverty reduction program.
 
It has been a great pleasure and privilege to have worked with China’s Leading Group Office for Poverty Reduction (LGOP) since 1990 in their highly successful poverty reduction program. I have seen first-hand the complete elimination of the worst aspects of absolute poverty throughout all of China’s poorest areas. I have hiked into hundreds of poor villages throughout the uplands of western China, where in the 1990s it was common to find villages where many households had not achieved basic food security and most households and children experienced malnutrition, where most school age children would not complete elementary school and where there was no local access to basic health care. Homes lacked road access, drinking water, and other basic infrastructure. 
Alan with kids on the project site, Photo: Alan Piazza

中国减贫成就、挑战与展望

Chengwei Huang's picture
Also available in: English
这是纪念1017日国际消除贫困日的中国系列博客文章的第一篇,中国对全球减贫事业的贡献超过世界任何国家,中国正在全力实现到2020年消除极端贫困的宏伟目标。
摄影:李文勇/世界银行
中国减贫成就举世瞩目。1982年,中国启动“三西”专项扶贫计划,拉开了有计划、有组织、大规模扶贫开发的序幕。1986年,成立国务院贫困地区经济开发领导小组(1993年改称国务院扶贫开发领导小组),认定贫困县,确定扶贫标准,设立财政专项扶贫资金。1994年颁布实施《国家八七扶贫攻坚计划(1994-2000年)》,2001年和2011年,先后两次颁布实施十年农村扶贫开发纲要。三十多年来,中国贫困人口大幅度减少,贫困地区和贫困人口的生产生活条件及公共服务水平明显改善。
 

Ending poverty in China: Lessons for other countries and the challenges still ahead

Chengwei Huang's picture
Also available in: 中文
This blog is the first piece of a series produced to commemorate End Poverty Day (October 17), focusing on China – which has contributed more than any other country to global poverty reduction – and its efforts to end extreme poverty by 2020.   
photo: Wenyong Li/World Bank
China’s success in poverty reduction has attracted worldwide attention. In 1982, China launched the “Sanxi Program” in the poorest regions in Gansu and Ningxia, marking the beginning of planned, organized and large-scale poverty alleviation efforts nationwide. In 1986, the government established the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development, identified poor counties, set a national poverty line, and created special funds for poverty alleviation. In 1994, China launched the Seven-Year Priority Poverty Alleviation Program that was designed to lift 80 million people out of absolute poverty within seven years from 1994 to 2000. In 2001 and 2011, two ten-year poverty alleviation programs were launched to continue the war against poverty. During those three decades, the number of poor people fell sharply, and living conditions and access to public services improved markedly in the poorer regions.
 

Cambodia is now a lower-middle income economy: What does this mean?

Sodeth Ly's picture
Also available in: Cambodian
Two decades of economic growth have helped make Cambodia a global leader in reducing poverty.
The success story means the Southeast Asian nation that overcame a vicious civil war now is classified as a lower-middle income economy by the World Bank Group (WBG).
 
The new classification this year is based on thresholds set by the WBG in a system with roots in a 1989 paper that outlined the methodology. The table below shows the different levels of classification based on Gross National Income (GNI): 
 
Threshold GNI in July 2016
Low-income <$1,025
Lower-middle income $1,026 - $4,035
Upper-middle income $4,036 - $12,475
High-income > $12,476
 

Empowering Myanmar’s rural poor through community-driven development

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
Poverty and isolation create a host of development challenges for Myanmar's rural communities, from poor road connections to lack of clean water and unreliable electricity.
 
Since 2013, the Myanmar National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) has helped improve access to basic infrastructure and services with support from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the poorest. The community-driven development (CDD) approach responds well to local development challenges, in that it lets community groups decide how to use resources based on their specific needs and priorities.
 
Implemented by Myanmar's Department of Rural Development, NCDDP now operates in 5,000 villages across 27 rural townships梙ome to over 3 million people梐nd plans to reach about 7 million people in rural communities in the coming year.
 
In this video, Ede Ijjasz and Nikolas Myint reflect on what has been achieved so far, describe some of the challenges they met along the way, and talk about plans to take the NCDDP to the next level.
 
Related:

Supporting inclusive growth in Cambodia

Victoria Kwakwa's picture
A Cambodian farmer. photo by the World Bank
A Cambodian farmer. Photo: The World Bank

Today, Cambodia is among the world’s fastest growing economies. Its gross national income per capita increased by more than threefold in two decades, from $300 in 1994 to $1,070 in 2015.

Strong economic growth has helped lift millions of people out of poverty.

The Cambodian people have benefited as the economy diversified from subsistence farming into manufacturing, tourism and agricultural exports. Poverty fell to 10% in 2013, from 50% in 2004. Cambodians enjoy better school enrollment, literacy, life expectancy, immunization and access to water and sanitation.

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