POVERTY gives rise to problems, including hunger, diseases and even social conflicts, and creates obstacles in the way of people’s pursuit of a better lifestyle. China, which comprises one-fifth of the global population, has emerged victorious in the battle against poverty, and there are lessons to be learnt by whoever is interested in following suit.

This victory has allowed overcoming poverty which had been causing trouble to the Chinese for the last several decades. While eradicating poverty, China has gone beyond the textbook theories and now it can provide new perceptions and formulas to fight poverty at the global level.

While fighting poverty, China has met the targets set by the United Nations under its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 10 years ahead of the deadline. In the last eight years, China’s 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the standard poverty line have all been pulled out of the poverty trap.

The winning formula in China’s victory against poverty has been the path of positive dialectical thinking and improving the whole mechanism of pro-poor market.

China converted the burden of poverty into a source of potential strength, and used human and natural resources in rural areas for the purpose of prosperity, development and poverty-eradication. By working on the local natural resources in below-poverty-line areas, it developed various small businesses, subsequently boosting local economic growth and employment opportunities.

The key approach of China towards the reduction of poverty is to maintain the goal of national common prosperity by establishing a ‘pro-poor market’ in which all sectors work jointly for the purpose of poverty reduction.

China has allocated sufficient resources to fight poverty. An amount of 1.6 billion yuan was allocated in each fiscal year to overcome poverty. Many countries, including Pakistan, can get lessons from China when it comes to taking steps for eradicating poverty.

China, based on its own experience and theoretical ideas related to poverty alleviation, is providing a new reference for other countries and regions to consider and follow with due adaptations. Will we?

Mujeeb-ur-Rahman
Karachi

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2021

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