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
Man Plowing Field with Ox
Woman sitting shucking corn

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
American woman and Chinese man smiling, watching corn on the cob

Problem: extreme drought

Solution: clean water storage

Funding: various, public

Farmer Zhao’s Story 

During a summer 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.”

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