The Poverty Crisis in Rural China

Even though we think of China as having very populated, massive cities, most of the population lives in rural areas. Conversely, most of the employment opportunities exist in urban areas. The imbalance results in a large segment of poor families living in rural areas of China. In fact, rural areas experience 2.5 times higher poverty rates than urban areas.

Agricultural Way of Life

A rural family relies mainly on farming activities for income, which yield very low levels of productivity and revenue. Additionally, there are several realities that make an agricultural way of life even harder in rural China:

  • Natural disasters like floods and droughts
  • Lack of infrastructure like paved roads, markets or clean water
  • Depleted natural resources and increasing farm sizes
  • Lack of education and skills, including a disproportionate deficit among women
  • Limited access to financial services, markets and value chains
  • Reliance on traditional, manual farming techniques

Women Bear the Burden

The trend is for the male population to move to the urban areas in search of more sustainable income. The women are left to carry the burden of caring for the children and elders. Women are becoming the primary source of physical labor along with their children. The men that stay are working six days a week in the fields in a continual cycle of poverty.

When you provide for basic needs like clean water and education, families stay together and are free to explore ways to improve their lives.

Problem: extreme drought

Solution: clean water storage

Funding: various, public

Farmer Zhao's Story

During a sumer recent drought, Zhao Fang’s fields dried up. His corn didn’t grow and his family was in physical and financial trouble.

Because of your generous support, we were able to build six water storage units for Zhao Fang’s community. Now his corn grows abundantly and his family is well fed.

About six months after the water storage unit was constructed, a Project Partner team visited Zhao Fang. Zhao ran out to meet our van and insisted we come to his home to taste his corn.

Through a translator, he thanked us for not only saving his crops and feeding his family, but also for caring for him. Tears of joy rolled down his cheeks as he repeated, “Xie Xie, Xie xie, Shàngdì bǎoyòu nǐ.”

In English, “Thank you, thank you, God bless you.”

Start Here

If you're new or wondering what to do next, use this guide to make a difference.

Who We Are

Project Partner is a non-profit organization working to end the poverty crisis in rural China.

Get to know us

The Poverty Crisis

Women and children in rural China live on less than $2 a day and need your support.


The Solution

Simple solutions like clean water, health and education make a meaningful impact.

Understand the solutions

Take Action

Now that you know us and understand the poverty crisis, it’s time to take action.

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