What Can we Learn from China in the Fight Against Poverty?
In the sustainable Development Goals, number 1 deals with poverty alleviation. It calls for an end to poverty in its totality. It states, “to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere.” And the member countries came together and pledged not to leave anyone behind.
Poverty was thus placed on the war line and countries have been in the race to ensure they attain the goal albeit the uncertainties all around. For example, the Covid -19 pandemic almost thwarted the efforts of many countries in the fight against poverty.
The problem became even more pronounced with the lengthening of time with which the pandemic has taken to subside. But all is not glittering especially now that more people are being feared to be falling further behind with matters food, clean drinking water and sanitation.
In the fight, seven targets have been developed as measures towards keeping the fight on course and in ensuring that progress is being made towards the attainment of the goal. Target number one is purely dedicated towards ensuring that extreme poverty is eradicated.
Target number two aims to reduce poverty by at least 50%. It is worth noting that China as of present is said to be the number one country that has made great strides in relation to this target. In a country of more than 1.3 billion people, there are reports of 80% her population being out of poverty. This is not a small achievement by any measure.
Clearly considered, it I worth noting that of the entire world population that has been pulled out of poverty, 65% of those are in China. And 50% of the remaining 35% have shown that China has been involved in them especially in Developing countries where China has been the biggest lender towards ensuring massive developments criticism notwithstanding.
China has designed a targeted approach towards ensuring that her population is out of poverty. The targeted approach means identifying extreme and poor households. Next follows a unique formulation of a strategy towards helping those house hold come out poverty. It involves finding an agribusiness proposition for example and empowering the members to create value out it.
To help in this, they have ensured a better performance in target number three that deals with implementation of nationally appropriate social protection systems. In other words, besides empowering vulnerable citizens on self-sustenance, China goes a step further.
An example could be that of an aged person in China. He or she will be helped on some income generating venture and then be given a grant for the aged without fail and other necessary social security services relevant to them. Such a pack means safety for that individual.
Target four deals with equal rights to ownership, basic services, technology and economic resources. In this, china has embarked on a nationwide upgrade of its institutions of learning and also a sustainable kind of corporate responsibility aimed at ensuring equal access to education for all her people. The same is extended to access to healthcare and other basic amenities.
The success of this goes back to the targeted approach where the country has a national database of all poverty-stricken households and poor villages where efforts are being doubled to develop infrastructural development and easy access to basic amenities.
Target number five is designed towards building resilience to environmental, economic and social disasters. In another article, we will take a keen look into this approach in which environmental conservation has been turned into a poverty alleviation mechanism and rural china households are reaping really big.
For those who have read widely on Israel arid farming, we can attest to a lot of farming that is taking place in the Negev desert. China seems to have borrowed a leaf from there and are in the race towards strengthening research on agriculture, soil, biotechnology and biochemistry.
They have gone a notch higher to make sure that the research developed benefits the users in a harmonious integration model. And this justifies a huge leap towards their efforts to ensure that as target six demands, mobilization of resources to end poverty is attained. This has taken the form of strengthening education, healthcare, pulling in private sector alliances to ensure that the fight towards poverty alleviation is fought collectively.
Perhaps the difference in this part, in comparison to us is that first, the fight against poverty in Kenya is a preserve of the government. Secondly, the private sector seems to work on its own capacity without us seeing a very active cooperative approach with government and this is justified by the somewhat non-friendly environment and some policies that in a way suppress the private sector in its entirety.
Finally, target seven which closely relates to target six majors on establishment of poverty eradication policy frameworks at all levels. In other words, the fight against poverty becomes a matter of interest at all levels and to all people.
From institutions of learning at all levels, to parliaments, to private sectors, to presidents, to secretaries, to all arms of government and to everybody in China, the song is to alleviate poverty and as such, a great stride has and is being made in its efforts to alleviate poverty.
Maybe we too have a chance but only if we are willing to learn and work our way out of it. At the end of the day, it is up to us.