This is an adapted and edited translation of parts of a report originally published on the 26th of August 2019 by 中国社会组织动态, the official WeChat account of the Social Organizations’ Management Department of China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs. You can find the full original report here.
With the help of the China Charity Federation, the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province helped Zhacuo to remove the echinococcosis that had plagued her for 14 years, allowing her to gradually recover her health and greatly reducing the financial pressure on her family. Meanwhile, Li Jiyan and more than 5,000 fellow villagers in Lianchi Township, Yongren County, Yunnan Province, have developed embroidery with needles and lines, supported by the China Women’s Development Foundation’s project to “Promote Women’s Participation in the Development of Cultural Industry”.
Zhacuo and Li Jiyan can both be considered beneficiaries of national social organizations’ poverty alleviation projects.
In recent years, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has implemented the central government’s policy deployment, and actively guided the mobilization of national social organizations to actively participate in poverty alleviation. In 2018 alone, there were 1,536 poverty alleviation projects implemented by 686 national social organizations, with a total expenditure of about 32.3 billion yuan, 630,000 households officially filed as “poverty-stricken”, and a total of 5.81 million beneficiaries.
Guiding social organizations to participate in poverty alleviation is an important policy plan for the Party Central Committee and the State Council on poverty alleviation. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, this task has figured more prominently. The General Secretary has repeatedly stressed that it is necessary to mobilize all social forces to participate in poverty alleviation and encourage all kinds of enterprises, social organizations and individuals to participate in poverty alleviation. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China also clearly stated the requirement to mobilize the whole party and the whole country to participate in poverty alleviation.
As the national agency that manages the registration of social organizations, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has guided the mobilization of social organizations to participate in poverty alleviation, as an important measure to implement the decision-making and deployment of the central government’s poverty alleviation projects. In order to strengthen overall coordination, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has established a “Leading Group for Leading Social Organizations to Support Poverty Alleviation in Areas of Deep Poverty”, focusing on encouraging social organizations to participate in poverty alleviation efforts in areas determined to be suffering from poverty.
From November 2017 to May 2019, the Ministry of Civil Affairs submitted the “Notice on Extensively Guiding and Mobilizing Social Organizations to Participate in Poverty Alleviation” to the State Council’s Leading Group for Poverty Alleviation and Development, and it issued other related documents jointly with the leading group, establishing a system and mechanism for social organizations to participate in poverty alleviation at the policy-making level.
These documents point out that the key areas for social organizations to participate in poverty alleviation are industrial poverty alleviation, educational poverty alleviation, health poverty alleviation, relocations, volunteer poverty alleviation and other types of poverty alleviation. It is strictly forbidden for any social organizations to engage in profit-seeking and financial activities under the banner of poverty alleviation. These policies stipulate a clear direction for social organizations, establishing a dynamic mechanism and providing basic norms.
While paving the way for social organizations to participate in poverty alleviation, the Ministry of Civil Affairs took the initiative to take responsibility and act decisively, and guided the mobilization of national social organizations. Since the beginning of 2017, the central government has supported the participation of social organizations in social service projects, and the Ministry of Civil Affairs has inclined towards the social organizations involved in poverty alleviation in the “three districts and three prefectures” (三区三州): six administrative divisions of Western China that have been designated as “deeply impoverished”, including Tibet, Tibetan areas in other provinces, four prefectures in Southern Xinjiang, Liangshan prefecture in Sichuan province, Nujiang prefecture in Yunnan province, and Linxia prefecture in Gansu province. Up to now, there are 406 joint projects with a project fund of 174.48 million yuan.
In the “areas of deep poverty” of Liangshan in Sichuan, Hetian in Xinjiang, Zhaotong in Yunnan and Yichang in Hubei, four trainings for social organizations were held, and more than 300 national social organizations participated, which were docked with more than 40 departments in areas of deep poverty, and 20 counties in deep poverty. On August 6, 2019, the Ministry of Civil Affairs led eight national social organizations to carry out poverty alleviation activities in the Ninglang Autonomous County of Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, holding a signing ceremony.