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Poverty Reduction Policy for Rural Disabled in China, June 17, 2015 Adjust font size:

Oxfam Hong Kong recently released "Rural Disabled in China, Poverty Reduction and Policy Advocacy" amid the National Disabled Day in China this year, to present the current living conditions of the disabled people in rural China and encourage more accurate policies and supports for them.

As a result of China’s historical and current development trajectory, the socio-economic development of rural areas is lagging far behind that of urban areas. Rural disabled people are even more vulnerable. Their living standard is not only much lower than that of the urban disabled, but also far below the average for rural areas, according to the report.

The 1st National Disabled Person Sample Survey shows that most of the rural disabled population still faces food and clothing problems. In areas of or below a middle level of economic development, more than 60% of the disabled people live below the poverty line. In impoverished counties, around 30% of the impoverished population was disabled, though rate could be as high as 75%. According to the 2nd National Disabled Person Sample Survey, the average rural disabled household had less than half of the average rural household income. While the impoverished population in rural areas has dropped significantly, poverty among vulnerable groups like disabled people has become increasingly prominent. In the face of general social exclusion due to their psychical and psychological disabilities, they increasingly constitute the core of the impoverished population, which makes it extremely challenging to help them to shake off poverty.

The Chinese government has adapted multiple policies and measures to help reduce poverty among the rural disabled people. Ever since 1986, the government has included poverty alleviation for the rural disabled in the National Poverty Alleviation Program as a primary focus. Since 1992, poverty alleviation for disabled people has been included in the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th national five-year development outlines as well as the special implementation plans for poverty reduction for the disabled people. In 2001, the poverty alleviation and development for rural impoverished disabled people was included into the Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Program for Rural China (2001-2010) to unify the organization and implementation as well as the national, regional and local plans for poverty alleviation.

In the 21st century, China’s poverty reduction strategy for the rural disabled is starting to transform into an approach combining poverty alleviation and social welfare. As a result of the establishment and improvement of the rural social security system, disabled people with severe disabilities have been included into the social protection scheme, as to address poverty among the rural disabled people’s families.