The International Poverty Reduction Centre in China (IPRCC) focuses on poverty research, training, exchanges and cooperation. It was jointly initiated and established by the Chinese Government, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and other international organizations in 2004. Over the years, UN Volunteers have contributed to poverty alleviation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the IPRCC. UN Volunteer Jin Liu, currently serving with the institution, shares her experience with the transformation of the Fuping county in China.
Jin Liu assists in organizing international poverty reduction exchange events and missions of foreign officials and scholars, and preparing publications and multimedia communication on China's poverty alleviation practices.
UN Volunteers have played an active role in our organization; they are young and full of energy, innovative and hardworking, and they have become an integral part of IPRCC staff. Jin Liu is a quick learner and good team player attached to the Foreign Affairs Division. She can handle difficult situations in a professional manner. Her passion for poverty alleviation and development will lead her to a successful career in public services. --Ms Li Xin, Deputy Director General of IPRCC
Jin reports that the work has provided her with a comprehensive grasp of China's path for poverty alleviation and the nexus development issues.
As poverty alleviation is a top agenda for most developing countries, and China has progressed rapidly in its reduction, we see more fruitful cooperation between China and other developing countries, as well as international development organizations. --Jin Liu, UN Volunteer
Jin contributed to Leaving No One Behind: China’s Poverty Reduction Stories, featuring over 20 case studies on China’s poverty reduction practices. "I studied development theory, but gained a more authentic and deeper understanding of development policies through field research and case studies," Jin shares. "The combination of poverty alleviation policies, spiritual and intellectual support for the poor can truly realize their potential."
Poverty reduction is inseparable from the design of national policies, devotion of society and the strength of grassroots organizations. What touches me the most is the dedication and volunteerism of people working in the most impoverished areas. I hope to share my experiences with other countries in the future. --UN Volunteer Jin Liu
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered traditional exchange activities, remote communication platforms and mechanisms have been established, promoting knowledge sharing and capacity training on poverty alleviation to a larger audience. Jin is managing a new communications project, in cooperation with media companies. Featuring leading figures and practices in China’s poverty alleviation efforts, the project aims to educate the public on development through stories on trending media platforms. At the same time, these platforms offer a channel for villagers, farmers and impoverished craftsmen to sell their products. This is how China’s flagship Internet poverty alleviation approach (e-commerce) works. Jin believes that as a UN Volunteer, she brings creative insight to the work; she benefits from the training of her host agency and UNV to tell local stories with an international perspective.
Fuping, located in the heartland of the Taihang Mountains of China, used to be one of the concentrated and contiguous poverty-stricken areas in China. One of the founders of PRC once vowed, "I will forever turn in my grave until Fuping shakes off poverty." Over the years, as China implements comprehensive poverty alleviation policies, Fuping has taken on a new look.
In October 2019, Jin led a delegation to visit Fuping. The trip was a side event of the biennial "Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum" on Poverty Alleviation Day. Officials and scholars from different developing countries visited factories, farmlands, and households to conduct in-depth research on poverty reduction practices.
The leaky huts of farmers have been transformed into beautiful, livable and unique homestays. With the use of water-saving technology and soil improvement, the deserted mountainous areas have been developed into large-scale fruit and vegetable gardens, thanks to the efforts of the local poverty alleviation team. Farmers who suffered from frequent droughts and floods in the past have been able to rent their land for a stable income. They have also been able to earn higher wages by working in nearby factories. Children who dropped out of school to work on farms now enjoy free education in the Fuping Vocational School and are guaranteed employment contracts with companies in first-tier cities after graduation.
During the battle against poverty, thousands of places like Fuping have escaped from poverty in China. Ever since the Reform and Opening-up policy, over 850 million Chinese have stepped out of poverty over the past four decades. According to China's current poverty line, the number of rural poor in China has been reduced from 98.99 million in 2012 to 5.51 million in 2019, and the incidence of rural poverty has dropped from 10.2 percent to 0.6 percent. Today, China is transforming from an international aid recipient country to an international development contributor, striving to achieve the SDGs.
China's fight against extreme poverty is about to enter the final stage this year. However, this is not the end of poverty reduction efforts. How to solve the problem of relative poverty, deal with poverty and inequality challenges globally and achieve SDGs are still long-term issues.
UN Volunteers will continue to serve as a bridge between China and the international community for exchanges and cooperation in poverty reduction in the future.