China’s Anti-Poverty Drive Has Lessons For All

| August 31, 2018 | Leave a Comment

China Anti-poverty

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: News / Op - Ed

Date of Publication: August 11, 2018

Year of Publication: 2018

Publisher: Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Author(s): Graham Allison

Newspaper: China Daily


Can an understanding that remarkable outcomes can be produced only through cooperative actions help China and the US to work together to alleviate the debilitating poverty that continues to grind down billions of people across the world?

Has any antipoverty initiative in history ever lifted more people from abject poverty than the national economic development program China launched four decades ago by opening up its economy to the world?

Imagine what we could call a “Pyramid of Poverty”. In 1978, nine out of every 10 individuals in China’s population of 1 billion were struggling to survive on an income below the “extreme poverty line”-set by the World Bank at just under $2 a day.

Today, the pyramid has been flipped on its head. As a result, almost all of the more than 1.3 billion individuals who previously would have spent most of their life hungry have doubled their calorie intake. Most of previous generations’ waking hours were spent attempting to provide enough food for themselves and their children to survive. Today, families can eat together, stay together, and play together.

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