The number of poverty-stricken people in China's rural areas decreased to 14.87 million in 2007 from 250 million in 1978.
Since 1990, the state has set up a fund to assure the basic needs of people living in poverty-stricken minority areas, with 141 impoverished counties listed as the first batch to receive support.
In 1994, the Seven-Year Poverty Alleviation Program (a program designed to lift 80 million people out of absolute poverty in the seven years from 1994 to 2000) was carried out, and, with the assistance threshold lowered, 116 more poverty-stricken minority counties were covered by state preferential policies.
A World Bank report released in 2007 said that China accounted for 67 percent of the achievements in global poverty reduction in the past two decades. Without China's efforts, the poor population in the world would have continued to grow, it said. China is also the only country that has halved its poor population ahead of schedule, according to the UN Millennium Development Goals.
In 2001, the Central Government adopted the Outline for Poverty Alleviation and Development in China's Rural Areas (2001-2010), focusing on eliminating poverty in 592 key poverty-stricken counties by 2010. Meanwhile, it will also commit resources to narrow the gap between urban and rural areas to achieve balanced growth throughout the country.
170 billion yuan
The Central Government spent more than 170 billion yuan ($25 billion) on a special fund for nationwide poverty elimination from 1978 to 2008.
The net per-capita yearly income of farmers in the key poverty-stricken counties increased to 2,611 yuan ($382) from 303 yuan ($80.5) from 1989 to 2008.
(Source: China's Ethnic Policy and Common Prosperity and Development of All Ethnic Groups and No. 20, 2009 Qiu Shi Journal)