About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 1.3 billion people live in China.
157 million Chinese live on less than $1.25 a day.
The richest fifth of China’s population controls nearly half of the country’s wealth; the poorest fifth controls less than 5% of the wealth.
(Source: The World Bank)
While China has made strides in reducing poverty in recent decades, it is still home to the second-largest population of impoverished people in the world. To make matters worse, efforts to assist the poor are impeded because of inaccessibility to the remote and rural areas in which most of them live.
Education is becoming ever more important in raising income and living standards; however, access to education is limited in China’s remote areas, due to both expense and distance. This perpetuates the cycle of poverty, and the wide gap between the rich and the poor.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic ReliefTM launched its aid efforts in China in response to the 2002 Shaanxi floods. Following the initial emergency phase, Islamic Relief partnered with local population to build new homes in four villages. Islamic Relief China then opened to sustain ongoing efforts.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in China:
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
ISLAMIC MICROFINANCE FOR PINGLIANG
More than 1,300 families in the Kongtong district of Pingliang City in Gansu Province benefitted from business-development support. Families received improved access to interest-free credit so they can invest in income-generating activities, and farmers received support and training on improved practices.
A devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit China in May 2008, affecting the lives of more than 14 million people across the country. Islamic Relief was quick to respond, and provided emergency aid, which included food distribution and reconstructions services.
FUYUN INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT
New irrigation systems and other agricultural projects helped boost revenues for hundreds of farmers in the Kongtong district.
HAIYUAN ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT
This project provided 1,500 farmers in Haiyuan county with a rainwater system to supply drinking water, as well as livestock. Teams also introduced more productive methods of farming and improved soil and water conversation through terracing and contoured planting.
HUAN XIAN RAINWATER CATCHMENT
This project provided safe drinking water for 220 families in Huan Xian County.
More than 1,300 residents of Tonjiang County received assistance to develop sanitation, health and education systems, improving overall living conditions in the community.