China’s multidimensional poverty eradication is an inspiration to the world

China announced that it had eradicated extreme poverty in late February 2021. It means that 770 million people had climbed out of absolute poverty. People’s per capita income had increased to $10,000, and life expectancy had increased to 77.3 years on average.

Having met the poverty reduction sustainable development goals 10 years in advance, China contributed to more than 70 percent of the world’s total poverty reduction. In March 2021, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres celebrated this achievement as a “reason for hope and inspiration to the entire community of nations”.

The concept of multidimensional poverty is central to the Chinese approach, Vijay Prashad, an Indian historian, editor and journalist, said in his article, “China eradicates absolute poverty” published by Prensa Latina. The concept became a policy through the Communist Party of China’s program of “three guarantees” (safe housing, healthcare, and education) and “two assurances” (being fed and being clothed).

Once a policy is crafted, the real work of implementation begins. The CPC delegated 3 million cadres out of the Party’s 95.1 million members to be part of 255,000 teams that spent years living in poor villages working towards the eradication of poverty and the social conditions it created.

The studies of poverty and the experiences of the cadres resulted in five core methods for eradicating poverty: Developing industry; relocating people; incentivizing ecological compensation; guaranteeing free, quality, and compulsory education; and providing social assistance.

The most powerful lever of these five methods was industrial development, which created capital-intensive agricultural production (including crop processing and animal breeding), restored farmlands and grew forests as part of the ecological compensation schemes, reviving areas that had become prey to resource exploitation.

In addition, an emphasis was placed on educating minority populations and women. As a result, by 2020, China ranked first in the world in the enrollment of women in tertiary education, according to the World Economic Forum.

Eradicating poverty is not a Chinese project. It is humanity’s goal, the author said. That is why movements and governments committed to this goal look carefully at the achievement of the Chinese people.

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