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The changed position of overseas NGOs in China's poverty alleviation by Liu Yuan, October 27, 2015 Adjust font size:

During the past three decades of the reform and opening-up policy, China's poverty alleviation and economic development have made outstanding achievement recognized by the international community.

Most of the poverty alleviation projects are government-driven. International organizations and overseas NGOs have also contributed in various ways. As the international and domestic development conditions have changed, these entities have had to adjust their position and functions, which has meant strengthening their role as a "bridge", promoting global sharing of poverty reduction experiences and contributing to the fulfillments of the UN's Post-2015 Development Agenda.

From the 1990s, the Chinese government began to introduce foreign capital for poverty alleviation. It has also cooperated with international organizations, such as the World Bank and UNDP, as well as overseas NGOs from the UK, Japan and Hong Kong. In the past 20 years, international organizations and foreign civil societies have acted as major poverty reduction fundraisers, and cooperated with the Chinese government and civil organizations to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the international capital going into poverty alleviation business. In addition, these organizations also introduced internationally accepted poverty reduction principles and methods, including community engagement, micro-credit, social gender, poverty monitoring. The poverty alleviation cause has been extended to new fields such as dealing with domestic violence and AIDS prevention, which improved the public's understanding of the overall concept of "poverty alleviation".

Despite significant achievements, the Chinese government has realized that great challenges lie ahead. On the first "China Poverty Alleviation Day" in 2014, President Xi Jinping underlined the importance of mobilizing the whole of society to declare a war on poverty. On the "International Day for the Eradication of Poverty" in 2015 as well as the second "China Poverty Alleviation Day", the government reaffirmed its goal to eradicate poverty in rural area by 2020, that is, to lift a million people out of poverty each month. To achieve that goal, it has to deepen reforms, innovate the mechanisms, improve related policies, make accurate efforts, motivate social power, integrate the proven poverty alleviation experience of the international community, and enrich China's characteristic poverty alleviation path. In this process, international organizations and foreign civil societies should introduce the proven poverty alleviation experience of the international community, such as, establishment and improvement of social security systems, capacity development for protecting these people from various risks (e.g. natural disasters and extreme climatic phenomena, market risks and diseases), as well as social engagement in rural poverty alleviation and cooperation while building moderately prosperous society.

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