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China tips Malawi on eradicating poverty

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China has opened up to developing countries to share its poverty alleviation model which seeks to eradicate poverty in that country by 2020.

Malawi has a lot to learn with the World Bank reporting Malawi’s poverty rate at 50.7 percent against an average of $964 million in foreign aid in the past seven years.

African journalists based in China visited China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation based in Beijing and later officials of Sichuan Province.

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It was noted that with poverty rate of just over six percent now, China is winning the battle against poverty owing to an organised approach against the vice involving all parties including central government, local governments, non-governmental organisations and private sector.

China has a domestic poverty line of about $1.09 a day, considering the purchasing power of local currency, capital requirement and available resources.

According to the Foundation’s Executive Vice President, Wang Xingzui, a strong regulatory environment subjects non-governmental organisations to annual audits before renewal of certification to ensure prudence and credible partnerships.

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Wang further said provincial bureaus register and locate impoverished citizens, households and needy locations for proper targeting and this avoids uncoordinated targeting of beneficiaries by government and organisations while they are able to chose who and where to help in what needs.

While cases of mismatch of assistance and needs hamper efforts in Malawi, lessons can be drawn from China where the poor are categorised in line with needs and assistance is in three forms, including social security for the physically incapacitated like the elderly and disabled; relocation of those in inhabitable areas; and medical aid to those restrained by health issues.

Deputy Inspector of Provincial Poverty Alleviation and Immigration Bureau in Sichuan, Zhang Haipeng, said: “About 40 percent of the poor (in Sichuan) are in the health category and need their medical expenses to be covered,” he said, adding that their children qualify for free education including vocational training or university.

Zhang said that apart from raising funds to support the needy, government provides incentives to financial institutions like some exemptions, interest rate subsidies and loan guarantees to ensure the poor access loans.

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