Poverty Reduction

China has made great leaps in reducing poverty and reaching the benchmarks laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), lifting more than 500 million of its citizens out of extreme poverty over the last three decades. However, there remain areas that are still in need of improvement. Not everyone has been able to benefit equally from the development and economic growth, with rural and ethnic minority areas lagging behind. For China it is crucial to adopt a growth pattern that enables poor people to have better livelihoods and to achieve equitable and sustainable development for all.

Our Goals

UNDP works to assist the government in ensuring that the benefits of China’s rapid advances in so many areas are enjoyed by all. UNDP’s approach emphasises tackling the causes of poverty, rather than merely alleviating its symptoms, and influencing attitudes among stakeholders accordingly. We also seek to ensure that cultural identity is preserved, finding solutions that allow those living in poverty to take advantage of their heritage to improve their livelihoods, rather than sacrifice it.more

Poverty Reduction & Equity

Yi minority group in Chuxiong, part of a UNDP culture-based ethnic minorities project.

Video: The Ethnic Minorities Cultural Products Development Project

Our Stories

  • From 22 days to 22 Seconds: Modernising China’s Customs Administration

    It was not so long ago that anything entering or leaving China would have been subject to a long customs clearance process. To the average person this process might have seemed insignificant, but for the millions of young entrepreneurs looking to make the most out of economic reforms this used to represent one of their biggest obstacles when competing in global markets. more

Projects and Initiatives

Tibet Development and Poverty Alleviation Programme

This programme works to reduce poverty and protect traditional cultural expressions by leveraging cultural resources to develop livelihoods: specifically, the protection of Old Lhasa, sustainable tourism and trade development. more

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Recent Publication
2013 IPF Background Report on Urbanization

This paper describes the scale and nature of urban poverty in low- and middle-income nations and summarizes the different approaches that have been tried to reduce it. It draws on the literature not only on poverty but also on deprivations associated with poverty – poor quality housing conditions, health risks and lack of access to basic services, rule of law and voice. 

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Featured Op-Ed
China’s Poverty Reduction – A Job Done? By Agi Veres

As the new Country Director for UNDP China, having arrived from Lesotho – an African country of just over 2 million people - I am constantly impressed by China’s statistics relating to alleviating poverty and the Millennium Development Goals. 

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Featured Document
China: Tax policies and Income Inequality

With the adoption of the set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN Summit in September 2015, Member States have committed to building a better world, where prosperity will be shared by all. This echoes China’s own vision to build an “all-round well-off” society by 2020, which places inclusive growth on the top agenda. Despite China’s remarkable economic growth, income inequality continues to widen with Gini-coefficient above 0.47 during the past decade. This has brought attention to China’s fiscal policies, particularly tax policies, which have long been deemed as the primary instrument to collect revenue and redistribute income. This issue brief provides an overview of China’s current tax system and its implications for reducing income inequality