BEIJING, Dec. 29 (UPI) — China has the world’s third largest economy but a report says 40 million of its farmers live in poverty, making less than $175 annually.
Fan Xiaojian, head of China’s national poverty and development office, told the Web portal ifeng.com the global financial crisis has hit the poor hard in China.
“China has invested 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) to reduce poverty this year, an increase of 3 billion yuan ($439 million) from last year, and the largest investment in poverty-relief in the last ten years,” he said, China Daily reported.
Fan, however, said the income of the most poverty-stricken counties in the country rose 9.6 percent in the first three quarters of this year.
The report said China, the third-largest economy after the United States and Japan, is the first developing country under the U.N. Millennium Development Goal to reduce the number of its people living in poverty by half.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International