China Human Rights Net > News > Focus > China Population Day > Rural Population and Poor Population

Impoverished population in China's minority areas drops 32.3 mln

From : Xinhuanet/

BEIJING, Sept. 27, 2009 -- In China, the impoverished population in the minority areas shrank from some 40 million in 1985 to 7.7 million in 2008, said a white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council Sunday.

According to the white paper, titled "China's Ethnic Policy and Common Prosperity and Development of All Ethnic Groups", over the years, the state has adopted a series of policies and measures to relieve the poverty the ethnic minorities suffer.


In 2009, the state announced new standards for poverty-relief work, and expanded the coverage to low-income rural people in the minority areas, the paper said.


Other efforts include: providing work as a form of relief, relocating people from places with poor conditions, building settlements for formerly nomadic people, repairing dangerous housing for rural residents, supplying safe drinking water in rural areas, and providing minimum living allowances to rural and urban residents, it said.


In the 1950s, the state provided free medical services to poor people of the ethnic minorities, granted them loans and farming tools, helped them set up schools and conducted social relief.


In 1983, the State Council held a national meeting on production and livelihood in the minority areas, which decided to basically solve the problems of food and clothing, housing and drinking water within a short time, it said.


Since 1990, the state has set up a fund to assure the basic needs of people living in poverty-stricken minority areas, and 141impoverished counties were listed as the first batch to gain this support, according to the paper.


In 2001, the Outline of Rural Poverty-relief Development was implemented, with ten more minority counties included, and Tibet as special region covered, it said.


In 2005, the comprehensive development of poor minority villages became the focus of national poverty-relief efforts. In 2007, the state formulated the 11th Five-year Plan for the Development of the Ethnic Minorities, containing 11 key projects.