II. Achievements of the Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Program
Thanks to efforts made over the past decade, the problems of subsistence, food and clothing for China' s rural residents have been basically solved, the production and living conditions of the poor have been markedly improved, infrastructure in poor areas has continuously improved, the level of social development has been enhanced, and ecological degradation has been initially brought under control.
The problems of subsistence, food and clothing for rural residents have been basically solved. In line with the increase of economic and social development level and based on the changes in price index, the state gradually raised the national poverty line for rural residents from 865 yuan in 2000 to 1,274 yuan in 2010. Based on this change, the poverty-stricken rural population decreased from 94.22 million at the end of 2000 to 26.88 million at the end of 2010; and their proportion in the total rural population decreased from 10.2 percent in 2000 to 2.8 percent in 2010.
Economy in poor areas has developed in an all-round way. The industrial structure in poor areas has been further optimized; specialty and competitive industries developed rapidly, and the comprehensive economic strength of poor counties grew constantly. From 2001 to 2010, 592 key counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs have seen their per-capita gross regional product grow from 2,658 yuan to 11,170 yuan -- an average annual growth of 17 percent, and per-capita local budgetary revenue grow from 123 yuan to 559 yuan - an average annual growth of 18.3 percent. The per-capita net income of farmers has grown from 1,276 yuan in 2001 to 3,273 yuan in 2010, an average annual increase of 11 percent (not taking inflation into account). All these figures of growth are all higher than the national average.
Production and living conditions in poor areas have been greatly improved. The state has constantly increased investment in infrastructure construction in poor areas to improve production and living conditions there. From 2002 to 2010, 592 key counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs saw their basic farmland increased by 52.456 million mu (approximately 3,497,067 ha), the mileage of newly constructed, renovated and extended roads by 952,000 km, and their buildings for education and health care by 35.061 million sq m, in addition to the solution of drinking-water problem for 56.757 million people and 49.993 million head of livestock. By the end of 2010, in the key counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs, 60.9 percent of rural households had access to tap water or well water, 88.1 percent of villages had access to roads, 98 percent had access to electricity, and 92.9 percent had access to telephones. In addition, their per-capita housing space reached 24.9 sq m, and 88.4 percent of the rural households had hygienic latrines.
Social undertakings in poor areas have made constant progress. Compulsory education in rural areas has been strengthened, and the work to eliminate illiteracy among young and middle-aged people has made great headway. By the end of 2010, in the key counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs, 97.7 percent of children aged between 7 and 15 were enrolled in school, close to the national average level; the illiteracy rate of young and middle-aged people had decreased to 7 percent, 5.4 percentage points lower than in 2002; and the average schooling time for the young and middle-aged had reached eight years. In addition, the new type of cooperative medical care system for rural residents had covered all the rural population, and the primary-level medical and health service system had been improved. By the end of 2010, in the key counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs, 93.3 percent of rural households had participated in the new cooperative medical care system, and 91.4 percent of rural residents were able to get timely medical service; every township had a hospital, and most administrative villages had a clinic. Population and family planning work, and the building of a public cultural service system in poor areas were strengthened.
Ecological degradation has been brought under initial control. From 2002 to 2010, in the key counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs 149.235 million mu (or 9.949 million ha) of farmland was restored to forest or grassland, and 226.434 million mu (or 15.0956 million ha) of economic forest was planted. In these counties, the proportion of households whose drinking water sources were polluted decreased from 15.5 percent in 2002 to 5.1 percent in 2010, and that of households having difficulty in getting fuel decreased from 45 percent to 31.4 percent.