Learning from China to Reduce Poverty

In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals were established. These eight goals focused on halving world poverty by 2015; however, that benchmark was met after five years, proving that reducing poverty is not only necessary but possible. According to The Economist, a large contributor to this decline in poverty is China who “pulled 680 million people out of misery in 1981-2010, and reduced its extreme-poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to 10% now.”

China developed a system that took many people out of poverty, and it is this system that could help other nations do the same. During the 30 years that poverty was reduced in half, China was focusing on strengthening its economy. By letting smaller businesses grow, it helped millions of people flourish in a country which had the most poverty.

But how can we learn from China and apply this to the rest of the world so that poverty can be eradicated by 2030 as the World Bank hopes to see?

The World Bank has worked closely with China in the past with the Southwest and Qinba Mountains Poverty Project. Focused on developing a more efficient way to monitor the rates and locations of poverty within the country, this system has helped China succeed in developing better agricultural practices, education and improving access to clean drinking water. Although their projects have been successful, the World Bank and China continue to work together to reach people who are still living in poor conditions.

Their partnership has implemented a Sustainable Development in Poor Countries Project. “The project will pilot new ways to provide poverty reduction assistance to the poorest communities by enabling communities to select and implement initiatives themselves,” says the World Bank.  Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, strongly believes that it is possible to end poverty by 2030. Learning from China and applying similar methods in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty levels have risen in some areas, can help make this goal a reality.

Along with the efforts of the World Bank, the U.N. is also trying to maintain the development progress China has made. The Division for Sustainable Development, or DSD, aims to eradicate poverty as well as educate people to continue to thrive. With these new projects in place, it is possible to see poverty end in our lifetime.

Kimberly Quitzon

Sources: The Economist, The World Bank, YaleGlobal Online
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