Mechanism Innovation and Enlightenment to the Combination of Post-earthquake Reconstruction with Development-oriented Poverty Reduction for Poverty-stricken Villages in the Earthquake-stricken Wenchuan of Sichuan Province
- poverty reduction approaches
- endogenous poverty alleviation
- vulnerable groups
- targeted poverty alleviation components
- supporting policies
Mechanism Innovation and Enlightenment to the Combination of Post-earthquake Reconstruction with Development-oriented Poverty Reduction for Poverty-stricken Villages in the Earthquake-stricken Wenchuan of Sichuan Province
Title : Mechanism Innovation and Enlightenment to the Combination of Post-earthquake Reconstruction with Development-oriented Poverty Reduction for Poverty-stricken Villages in the Earthquake-stricken Wenchuan of Sichuan Province
Commencement Date : Tue Mar 06 2018--
Implementing Agencies :
Support Organizations :
Members of The :
CASE PROVIDER :
Name : Xiang Xinghua Qin Zhimin
Sources of Funds :
Catalogue and Index :
Abstract Summary :
Background; The Combination of Post-earthquake Reconstruction with Development-oriented Poverty Reduction
In China, at 14:28, on May 12, 2008, a great earthquake 8 on the Richter scale occurred in Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province. Wenchuan earthquake caused enormous loss of lives and properties in such affected areas as Sichuan, Gansu and Shannxi Province. The quake-stricken areas were highly overlapped with the poverty-stricken regions. Among the 51 hard-hit counties, there were 41 impoverished counties; the affected areas had 14,337 administrative villages. Poor villages accounted for 4,834 and the affected population reached 2. 183 million. In terms of Sichuan Province, among the 39 extremely hard-hit and hard-hit afflicted counties, there were 7 key counties and 24 task counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs. After the earthquake, there were 2,117 poverty-stricken villages hit seriously in severely affected areas. Besides, 399 nonpoverty-stricken villages went back to poverty. The total number of poverty-stricken villages increased to 2,516 in the whole province.
1. 1 Huge Impact on the development of poverty-stricken village
1. 1. 1 The scope of poverty extended and impoverished population increased
2,516 poverty-stricken villages among the whole 39 heavily quake- stricken areas were affected at various degrees which covered 150,000 impoverished population, accounting for 21.5 percent of all affected village households. At the same time, these households have suffered serious loss concerning human capital, living facilities and means of production. The poverty incidence rose from 11.68 percent before earthquake to 34.88 percent, and the scope of poverty extended. In addition, among the 100 general quake-stricken counties in Sichuan, there were 14 key counties in the national development-oriented poverty reduction programs and 72 counties had poverty reduction tasks. In these total 86 counties, there were 5,810 poverty-stricken villages. The number of impoverished population climbed from 890,000 to 1,340,000, and poverty incidence ascended from 13. 05 percent to 19. 64 percent after Wenchuan earthquake.
1.1. 2 The serious loss of farmers’ capital resulted in further deepening of poverty
In the great earthquake, more than 65 percent of farmers’ houses were destroyed; large number of poultry and livestock died and most leading industries were damaged, basic production and means of subsistence were severely destroyed. After the earthquake, farmers could hardly gain property mortage-free support, because the scheduled repayment of debt were delayed in the financial institutions, and then farmer's credit rating was downgraded. Due to casualties of the earthquake, many poverty-stricken villages saw considerable labor loss, and human capital were even seriously lost in some countryside. For example, Xuanping Town of Beichuan County, had 75 households with 250 people and 130 mu arable land before the earthquake. In 2007, per capita income reached about 3,500 yuan, relying on vegetables, pigs, and labour income. However, all people were relocated in the sample rooms of the stricken areas, making a living only by doing temporary work after the earthquake. Nowadays, most households' monthly- income is less than 200 yuan. According to calculation, apart from policy-related increase in income, peasants’ per capita net income hadn't regenerated to the pre-quake level by the end of 2010.
1.1.3 Poverty-stricken villages’ ecological environment became more fragile
Wenchuan earthquake damaged natural environment such as mountain forests, vegetation, soil and so on, which made poverty- stricken village suffer from more secondary disasters such as landslides, debris flow and dammed lake owing to unstability of geological environment. The soil erosion due to the vegetation destruction, made ecological environment even more vulnerable in poor villages. Farmers’ production and living condition were badly destroyed, including infrastructure (roads, drinking water facilities, power supply system and partial cultivated land ruined) and public service facilities (medical rooms and activity rooms). The loss of natural capital and production and living capital badly hindered poor farmers* production, living and development.
1.1. 4 More difficulties in poverty reduction work delaying the process
Since 2001, 2,117 poverty-stricken villages in National Planning District of Sichuan Province have gradually launched poverty-alleviation new village project, 1,587 of which had completed New Village Construction Poverty-reduction. The cumulative investment was 1. 62 billion yuan. Sichuan Province has input 178 million yuan for industrial development, and built a large number of industries with local characteristics for income growth. Wenchuan earthquake caused destructive devastation to these villages which just gained developing conditions. Production and living infrastructure which has been built through many years of hard work were mostly ruined. The earthquake also wrecked developmental foundation, which was just established by 30 years’ of reform and opening up and over 20 years’ development- oriented poverty reduction, and prevented Sichuan Province from accomplishing the task for “the Outline of Poverty Reduction and Development of China” as scheduled, so the development process was delayed
1.2The Great Significance of Combining Post-earthquake Reconstruction with Development-oriented Poverty Reduction
1.2.1 The explicit claim from the Central Party Committee and the State Council
The Central Party Committee and the State Council put great emphasis on the earthquake relief work and post-earthquake reconstruction in poverty-stricken villages of earthquake-stricken areas. Shortly after the earthquake, General Secretary Hu Jintao put forward: “It is vital to combine New Socialist Countryside Construction with development-oriented poverty alleviation together in quake-stricken regions.” On June 21, 2008, Premier Wen Jiabao, stressed when hearing the reports on earthquake relief work of Shannxi and Gangsu Province; “To combine reconstruction with poverty relief work, render further support to the impoverished areas, fundamentally change the production and living condition so as to promote economic and social development in poverty areas. ” On June 24, 2008, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu made instructions on the report—Report on Holding a National Seminar for Deans of Poverty Reduction Development Office—written by Fan Xiaojian, who was the director of the State Council’s Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development; “As for the poverty alleviation work in the second half year and in the future, we shall insist on the principles of development-oriented poverty reduction, promote the combination of the rural subsistence allowance system with poverty reduction efforts, push forward the combination of disaster prevention and mitigation with poverty alleviation efforts, carry out the combination of post-earthquake reconstruction with poverty alleviation efforts. ”
1.2. 2 The pressing aspirations of affected mass in impoverished
Earthquake caused mass severe losses of natural capital, physical capital and human capital, and deepen poverty in poverty-stricken villages. It’s difficult for villagers to regenerate only by their own strength, and so they urgently looked forward to support and help from the Communist Party of China and the central and local government.
1.2. 3 The obligatory responsibility of poverty reduction system
The impoverished population were the objects of poverty reduction
development system in poverty-stricken villages. It was a bound duty for poverty reduction system to promote post-earthquake reconstruction in poor villages. The help toward villagers reconstruction not only fully indicated the Party’s and the government's concern, but also extensively practiced the People-oriented Scientific Outlook Development.
To successfully combine reconstruction with development-oriented poverty alleviation in poverty-stricken villages, it was essential for the relevant sectors to explore boldly and innovate actively new mechanism on the corresponding work. The poverty alleviation system of Sichuan was mainly from the following aspects.
2.1 Scientific plan, priority pilot and gradual popularization
2. 1.1 Launch pilot village-level plan by widespread participation
The poverty reduction development offices at all levels, after identifying the list of pilot village by competition, set up work group of pilot villages, and then went to these villages carried out deep investigation of the disaster situation as well as the demand of quake- stricken villagers via participation. At the same time, through Villagers General Assembly, all villagers discussed the countermeasures of problems, and then initially set up the reconstruction project framework about pilot villages. Moreover, they held a conference participated by related business technicians in local areas to demonstrate the feasibility of project framework on Villagers General Assembly, and then drew up technology standard and units investment estimates of the subproject in line with pilot villages' situation and market-prices. The post-quake reconstruction plan of pilot villages was eventually completed.
2.1.2 Rational formulation for project implementation plan
As a big gap between the actual investment and the planning inputs existed in pilot villages, to make full use of the accumulated reconstruction funcL Sichuan Province organized pilot villages on the basis of the investment those who had gotten, so as to optimize utilization of the investment. In line with the input size, Sichuan Province adopted participatory approach, on the basis of villagerlevel plan, launched General Villager Assembly to discuss and determine priority startup including the processes and methods of improving project implementation and management. What's more, Sichuan Province coordinated relevant professional sectors to design the initial plan and budget to meet villagers’ most pressing needs and optimize the utilization of the capital.
2.1.3 Gradual popularization for the experience of pilot villages
Based on the successful experience of pilot village-level project in
poverty-stricken village, Sichuan Province worked out Formulation Method of Poverty-stricken Village Plan in Sichuan Province and assembled the cadres and masses from 39 severely affected counties and 2,516 poverty-stricken villages(of them, 2,117 were poor villages, 399 were re-poor villages) of 7 municipalities or prefectures in the whole province, through disaster assessment and investigation of postearthquake reconstruction demand and referring to project technology standard and units investment estimates of pilot villages’ planning. At last, Overall Plan of Post-earthquake Reconstruction of Poverty-stricken Villages in Sichuan Province had been fulfilled.
2.2Resource integration and efficient propulsion
Due to bad condition and fragile anti-disaster capability, more difficulties in reconstruction and more time were required to regenerate for poverty-stricken villages. Consequently, it was hard to accomplish objectives of post-earthquake reconstruction in impoverished villages, just relying on poverty reduction system. Great efforts had been made to broadly mobilize and integrate various social resources in order to effectively promote post-earthquake reconstruction of poor villages.
2. 2. 1 Fully mobilize resources within the poverty reduction system
Over two years, 52. 05 million of the special funds has been directly appropriated by Sichuan Provincial Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Office and Department of Finance, and then 19 million village mutual aid funds have been invested into 126 affected poor villages and 18 counties without counterpart support of city and province. Each village acquired 150,000 yuan of village mutual aid funds to implement pilot project of poverty reduction to develop industries. Besides, they integrated 990 million funds from Kaschin-Beck Disease of Aba Autonomous Prefecture and other program funds such as New Village, labor, industry, village road and methane project for post-earthquake reconstruction of poor villages.
2. 2. 2 Establish multi-sector cooperation mechanisms
While coordinated by poverty reduction office at all levels and propaganda of pilot villages’ demonstrational effect, the post-disaster reconstruction of poor villages got energetic support and assistance from leaders at all levels and relevant functional departments. The related functional sectors provided free technical support and allocated some project funds for pilot villages and other poverty-stricken villages during post-earthquake reconstruction. For example, Guangming village, Jiang County of Sichuan integrated 780,000 yuan for drinking water facilities construction, methane tank, site rectification of centralized settlements, waste collection, road construction and other projects, which were from “ Hanshan Village Project ” of Water Resources Department (RMB 300,000), methane tank project of Agricultural Energy Resources Office (RMB 100,000) and construction fund of Building Departments(380,000). Baihezhai village, Tongchuan Town of Santai County, according to the Village General Assembly’s discussion, rebuilt
2.7 km of village road, 5 km of pathway and benefited 1,850 people of 6 villager groups, rendering the village road construction standard on effective pavement 3. 5 km wide, and subgrade 4. 5 km wide. The total investment of repairment and maintenance projects—contract through public bidding—were 1. 2194 million yuan, in which 930,000 yuan came from Santai County Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Office, Transportation Bureau and Agricultural Machinery Bureau; 170,000 yuan raised by villagers themselves; business owners input 119,400 yuan, 6,000 villagers involved as the labour force. In the course of the project implementation, Li Defu, senior engineer, the dean of Poverty Reduction Office and test supervisor, Li Shangzhi, who ensured the project construction quality by means of filling noise density, compaction test and rebound deflection test. The project completion and check group consisted of Santai County Poverty Reduction Office, the engineers of Agricultural Machinery Bureau and the cadres of Baihe Village. The check showed that the project of repairment and maintenance of the roads were qualified according to the contract.
2.2. 3 Give priority to house reconstruction of the poor farmers
Through making a deep investigation and study of the impoverished farmers’ condition and their self-renewal ability, the relevant departments of Sichuan Province came up with the advice that reconstruction needs special policy support, owing to the difficulty of reconstruction. In order to guarantee the affected households can move into new houses in time, Provincial government took all opinions into account and determined every impoverished family subsidy standard increased by 4,000 yuan more than that of general affected households. In addition, they had given priority to the poor farmers on distributing special Party fees and social assistant funds. At the same time, they established housing credit guarantee funds for earthquake-affected farmers to support farmers’ house reconstruction and ensure the financial demand of the poor farmers’ reconstruction in earthquake- stricken regions.
2.2. 4 Fully play the subjective role of villagers
As we know, the impoverished population were both the farmers from poverty-stricken villages and victims of the earthquake. It was basis for poor villages’ reconstruction to benefit maximum from correctly assessing the situation of the disaster. Obviously, reconstruction couldn’t do without villagers’ participation so as to solve their most pressing demand. There was no doubt that villagers would fully play a principal role in the course of reconstruction, which was a short-time and harsh task, besides the government’s strong support. Consequently, through many ways such as home survey, community investigation, the villagers’ general assembly elected management organization of pilot village project and set up the publicity system, and the villagers took an active part in the project process of planning, implementation, management and supervision. These approaches fully mobilized the initiative of participation, and brought into play the subjective role of villagers.
2.2. 5 Strengthen capacity-building
a.Strengthen capacity-building for poverty alleviation system
The Office of Provincial Poverty Alleviation Development held
many trainings including project planning, spot planning, and project management. After that, every city ( prefecture )-level offices also followed the steps. These trainings effectively pushed ahead the implementation of related poverty alleviation work, and enhanced the working ability and level of poverty alleviation groups.
b.Strengthen impoverished farmers’ capacity-building
Besides the provincial government holding practical agricultural skill training and labor force transformation training for farmers of pilot villages, the Poverty Alleviation Development Offices of County (District)-level also coordinated relevant professional sectors to carry out forum of rebuilding rural houses, craftsman training, self-build infrastructure construction and agricultural technical training. Significant improvement was appeared to the capacities of selforganization, self-management and self-development of poverty-stricken villagers through various technical and skill trainings. Moreover, villagers were involved into project planning, implementation, management and supervision.
2.2. 6 Scientific management
In line with the requirement of Funds Management Approach of Financial Poverty Reduction by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, the government strengthened capital and project quality management, implemented earmarked funds system and reimbursement system. Through specifying the duties of relavant professional sectors to ensure the project quality implementation, and the project supervision team selected by plot villages carried out the supervision on the progress and quality of projects. After the first inspection team consisting of village representatives and cadres from township and villages checked up the project qualification, the Poverty Reduction Office of County organized such departments as finance, transportation, water conservancy, construction, agriculture, auditing and supervision to conduct acceptance and inspection. If the project passed the acceptance and inspection, they should report the surplus capital, and submit it to the superior departments for records. At the same time, when poor villages submit implementation programme, they should regard follow-up management scheme as an essential part and implement such scheme after project being accomplished For example, Qinghe Village of Jingyang District, set up follow-up management scheme of specially- assigned person in charge of village roads and maintenance management group to protect open caisson and ditch.
2.2. 7 Establish and implement publicity system and complaints mechanism, receive the supervision from villagers
a.Establish and implement publicity system
Disclose all the content included the organization of project, implementation plan, project tendering, capital utilization and project progress to villagers through available ways for the villagers’ supervision; and then hold various meetings related to project management group, fund management group and supervision group regularly to solve problems in the construction process.
b.Establish and implement complaints mechanism
Most poverty alleviation offices of county, township and pilot village committees would confirm special representative to disclose contact information for complaints, accept various supervisions and complaints such as post-disaster reconstruction project selection, engineering management, quality supervision, project progress and funds utilization from whole villagers, for the purpose of mobilizing all villagers’ initiative and realizing villagers’ such rights as participation, decision-making, management, and supervision.
3.Post-earthquake Reconstruction: Achievements and Challenges
3.1 Achievements of post-earthquake reconstruction in poverty- stricken villages
Thanks to efforts over the past two years, significant achievements had been made in the 2,516 poverty-stricken villages, covering 39 severely quake-affected counties and hard-hit counties in the postearthquake reconstruction under the strong support of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, provincial government and Party Committee. By the end of February, 2011, 1,224 poverty-stricken villages directly organized by Office of Poverty Reduction Development have all started reconstruction work, and 97. 5 percent of them have finished the project; the total investment of 3.066 billion yuan has accounted for 98. 94% of planning input (3.099 billion yuan), in which 660 million yuan came from Central Fund, making up 98.95% of planning input, and 50.1 million yuan came from provincial fund (poverty reduction inputs)occupying 96. 25% of planning finance; and 2. 355 billion yuan devoted by social inputs. The target of “To basically complete task of three years within two years” has been fulfilled.
3.1.1 Production and living conditions have been fundamentally regenerated in poverty-stricken villages of impoverished areas For instance, in poor villages of disaster areas, rural housing repairment and reconstruction almost have been completed; infrastructure such as roads, water conservancy and public service facilities (education, medical treatment and environmental protection) also have gained some recovery and improvement; the governing foundation and decision-making capacity of the village committee has showed great strength; the cadre-mass relations has become closer; the rural social capital has increased obviously. The results of reconstruction laid a good foundation for the masses to live and work happily and increase their income, and created favorable conditions for poverty-stricken villages on new village construction.
3.1.2 Villagers played an intiative role
Through applying the participatory approach to pilot villages on post-earthquake reconstruction, villagers were involved in the project planning implementation, management and supervision, and public opinions and wishes were so fully reflected that it could ensure the villagers’ rights including decision-making, participation, supervision and information-reception, greatly mobilizing villagers’ participatory enthusiasm. As for the vital interests such as contracted land, private hills and land, villagers followed the requirements of planning and consciously took the whole situation into account and actively devoted money and labor. They did not wait for or just depend on external support, but worked hard and mainly relyed on themselves, fully reflecting the initiative role in the whole work.
3.1. 3 Improvement of self-development capacity of poverty- stricken villages
Village officials and villagers enthusiastically participated in project selection, implementation, management and training, through which they improved self-development capacity in terms of dealing with financial affairs, external coordination, project management and independent decision-making. The village committee of Makou Village initiatively communicated with Credit Cooperative Company of the District and won over more than 20,000 yuan loan for each farmer’s housing reconstruction; the Muyu Village committee of Qinchuan County initiatively coordinated the national-level poverty alleviation leading enterprise named ChunZhen Industrial Commerce Corporation and regenerated forest, vegetable, and edible mushroom industry with its assistance, and again established professional association. Here, there were 22 vegetable greenhouses, 250 acres of general vegetable, 108 households planting bamboo fungus, agaric, shiitake; in total 70 acres of shiitake, 32,000 bars of fungus linden wood and 38,000 bags of shiitakes were produced in the whole village.
3.1. 4 The cadres keep close ties with the masses and promote harmony in community
The branch of village party committee and party members carried forward the spirit on “A Party branch a fortress, A party member a banner”. They fully played the exemplary vanguard role of party members by leading publicity and mobilization and actively devoted labor. Therefore effectively made good impression on the masses, and also maintained close ties with the mass. Through participating in the process of project planning, implementation, management, villagers formed a good custom of mutual help which facilitated community harmony. Makou Village of Leezhou District, under the leadership of branch village party committee, carried out the method of “Unified planning and joint construction, unified construction and allocation”to reconstruct the new village. They combined post-earthquake reconstruction with new village construction, ecological regeneration, infrastructure construction and industry development together for unified planning, implementation and evaluation; at concentrated settlement spots of villages, integrated farmers’ finance, material and labor and made them benefit from mutual help and joint participation orderly on rural house reconstruction. The community became more harmonious due to the building of an increasing unity and combating strength of the grass-root organizations during post-earthquake reconstruction.
3.2Existing problems and challenges
The realization of the goal of “to basically complete tasks of three years within two years” indicated that Sichuan’s post-earthquake
reconstruction fully went into a new period of comprehensive development and enhancement. Obviously, great improvement has been made in the construction work of rural houses and infrastructure of production and living, etc. There’s no doubt that new rural houses and
breeding houses, broad and flat village roads all show the enormous
change in poverty-stricken villages, and some poor villages even exceeded pre-quake developmental level. Nevertheless, in new period, various difficulties and challenges still existed in the development of poverty-stricken villages in Sichuan.
3.2.1 The ecological environment remains still fragile in poverty- stricken villages
As mentioned above, in spite of regenerating production, living condition, several villages changed better than pre-earthquake through reconstruction, but ecological environment remains fragile in poor villages. Wenchuan earthquake destroyed the mountain forests, vegetation, soil and caused secondary disasters such as landslide, collapse and debris flow owing to unstability of local geological environment Poverty-stricken villages still need a long time to recover their ecological environment.
3.2. 2 Farmers’ serious liabilities
After post-earthquake reconstruction, most farmers have built new houses and improved the living conditions. However, according to statistics, poor farmers hardly had savings, and rebuilding house cost so much money that each household had about 40,000 yuan liabilities on average (12,000 yuan per person). At the same time, in order to raise funds to build village infrastructure and other public facilities, the masses invested 500 yuan per household (150 yuan per person) and labor investment was 50 per household (15 per person). Compared to pre-earthquake, farmers from poverty-stricken villages universally had deepened liabilities after the earthquake. In addition, some farmers who loaned money from bank or credit union became poorer as a result of reconstructing house in debt.
3.3. 3 The phenomenon of poverty-returning and impoverishment caused by earthquake stands out
Earthquake didn’t only wreck farmers’ agricultural land, sloping land and woodland, but also wiped out their living houses and colony houses, especially in severely affected areas. Heavy casualties made the lives of poor households more difficult. In Sanfeng Village of Qingchuan County, 32 people died, 167 people got hurt and 1,644 mu land got lost in the earthquake. All farmers returned to poverty. In Anyue County which belonged to general quake-stricken areas, 10% of the total impoverished population went back to poverty because of illness and disasters caused by the earthquake.
3.3. 4 Production difficulties
Although the total investment plan, which was integrated in the national project of Post-earthquake Reconstruction Programme on Poverty-stricken Villages in the Quake-stricken Wenchuan of Sichuan Province reached 8. 998 billion yuan (3.57 million yuan per village), the practical fund used in post-earthquake poverty village reconstruction was just 1,436 billion yuan from Central Fund (570,000 yuan per village) and this led to great shortage in funds. In light of farmers’ urgent needs, the Central Fund was mainly put into reconstruction of major infrastructure projects, including village roads, water and drinking facilities and so on in order to meet farmers’ aspiration and maximize the use of the limited funds as much as possible. As a result, little investment was allocated to the farmers’ production and regeneration. Therefore, they hardly had savings and were even indebted due to low income, house reconstruction as well as raising fund to build village infrastructure and other public welfare facilities. It was very hard for impoverished population to regenerate just relying on themselves under the condition of lacking start-up capital, and hence sustainable development cannot move forward in villages. “Reside in new houses with no money at hand and live a poor life” was a real portray of poverty-stricken villagers in quake-stricken areas.
4. Exploration; The Combination of Post-earthquake Reconstruction with Development-oriented Poverty Alleviation in the New Post-earthquake Period
The various challenges that poverty-stricken villages faced in quake-stricken areas of Sichuan Province showed that poverty alleviation has replaced post-earthquake reconstruction to be the most important initiative of sustainable development in the new post-earthquake period. To effectively resolve the difficulties suffered by impoverished population, and achieve sustainable development of poverty-stricken villages in the new period of post-earthquake reconstruction, Sichuan provincial poverty alleviation system adhered to integrate development- oriented poverty alleviation with reconstruction and adhered to the principle of helping the poor and assisting the needy by developing industries with special characteristics. Provincial Poverty Alleviation and Immigration Bureau implemented the requirements of Guideline of Promoting the Practice of Helping the Poor and Assisting the Needy in the Quake-stricken Wenchuan published by the Provincial Party Committee and General Office, by means of applying successful experiences of post-earthquake reconstruction to poor villages’ new mechanisms, which combined pilot project of poverty reduction by developing industries, comprehensive classification of development- oriented poverty alleviation in villages and poverty-stricken villages under the guidance of Helping the poor and Assisting the needy in the quake-stricken areas. The main practical activities were as follows;
4. 1 Complete Overall Plan of Post-earthquake Poverty Alleviation for Impoverished Villages in the Quake-stricken Wenchuan of Sichuan Province
To push forward sustainable development of poverty-stricken villages, Sichuan Provincial Poverty Alleviation and Immigration Bureau, continuously strengthened support, through in-depth research, and completed the Overall Plan of Post-earthquake Poverty Alleviation for Poverty-stricken Villages in the Quake-stricken Wenchuan of Sichuan Province (2010—2015) (In the following part it is called Plan for short). The total planned investment was 38.1 billion yuan, and planned areas included 2,516 poor villages consisting of 39 severely affected areas and 5,810 poor villages of 86 general affected counties which had poverty alleviation development task. In July, 2010, the Plan which had been submitted to the State Council by Sichuan Provincial Government, has been adopted into The Twelfth Five-Year Overall Plan for National Economic and Social Development and The Outline for Development-oriented Poverty Alleviation for China’s Rural Areas (2011—2020) and has been regarded as a special aspect to support at the fifth and sixth coordination group meeting about post-earthquake reconstruction of the State Council.
4.2 Launch a pilot on poverty alleviation by developing industry in the quake-stricken impoverished villages
The development and revenue growth became main issue in poverty-stricken villages in the period of new post-earthquake reconstruction. In accordance with the requirement of Guideline of Helping the Poor and Assisting the Needy in the Quake-stricken Wenchuan by Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government, Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Poverty Alleviation and Immigration put into 1 million yuan of financial funds of poverty relief to carry out pilot work in quake-stricken regions, by way of selecting one village in every county of 31 severely affected counties shouldering poverty alleviation task. They have also fully played leveraging role of poverty relief to integrate resources from all sectors and brought about economic development in impoverished villages. Pilot villages relying on their own advantageous resources, considering market-oriented demand and based on fully respect for the villagers’ wishes, carefully implemented the project through scientific planning, reasonable layout and laid emphasis on such characteristic industries as farm production and poultry raising to help the poor solve their long-term livelihood in impoverished areas. So far, cadres from 31 pilot villages and 31 county-level offices of development-oriented poverty alleviation among 7 municipalities (prefectures), have acquired training concerning methods of pilot work and studied the agricultural industrial development experience in developed coastal areas. What’s more, they have drawn up village-level planning and implementation programming in pilot villages. The projects have been effectively carried forward.
4.3 Research on the impoverished village classification in the quake-stricken areas
Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Poverty Alleviation and Immigration, with granted fund for projects of technical cooperation between China and Germany, recruited experts from Sichuan Agricultural University to study classification on 2,516 poverty-stricken villages in severely affected areas, through analysis on different types of poor villages and its effectiveness and divergence to decide the developmental strategy. On the basis of classifying poverty-stricken villages, experts determined poverty alleviation inputs and developmental strategy of impoverished villages according to their own geographical and advantageous resources to accomplish guidance on classification. At present, Proposal of Poverty-stricken Villages Classification Research Project in the Quake- stricken Areas has been submitted to the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and the German Technology Cooperation Company for approval.
4.4Launch comprehensive development-oriented poverty alleviation of impoverished villages’ developmental plan in quake-stricken areas
After cooperating with German Technology Cooperation Company, Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Poverty Alleviation and Immigration as well as the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development utilized project fund, which was related to technological cooperation between China and Germany on postearthquake reconstruction of poverty-stricken villages, to employ experts from Sichuan Agricultural University to write Guide Book of Comprehensive Development-oriented Poverty Allexnation in Impoverished Villages of Quake-stricken Areas of Sichuan Province (In the following it is called Guide Book for short)and guide comprehensive development- oriented poverty alleviation of village-level planning establishment among 31 pilot villages. Based on summary of the above mentioned village-level planning experience, they improved Guide Book and then progressively and comprehensively popularized the practice in 2,516 poverty-stricken villages of severely affected areas.
4.5Progressively implement development-oriented poverty reduction project with eco-compensation benefits
On October 15, 2010, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of CPC was held in Beijing and put forward Proposition of Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (In the following it is called Proposition for short). The Proposition explicitly approved the policy—quicken the establishment of a sound ecological compensation mechanism and gradually set up carbon trading market, pointing out the approach of implementing development- oriented poverty alleviation project with the eco-compensation benefits in poor villages of Sichuan quake-stricken areas. Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Poverty Alleviation and Immigration, orderly guided the poverty-stricken villages that were lack of large-scale agricultural production condition towards a green, ecological, environment-friendly, low-carbon path, and made the farmers acquire a stable source of income from establishing comprehensive ecological compensation mechanism and carbon trading market step by step.
5.Enlightenments; The Combination of Development- oriented Poverty Alleviation with Post-earthquake Reconstruction
In nearly three years, Sichuan Province adhered to the combination of post-earthquake reconstruction with development-oriented poverty alleviation, and made remarkable improvements in the living and production conditions of poverty-stricken villages. By means of scientific planning, pilot priority and progressive popularization, the government also emphasized community's participation to fully display the villagers' key role; multi-sectors' cooperation and resource consolidation were performed together with integrated sector funds in reconstruction inputs of impoverished villages. Therefore, to some degree, the above mentioned positive innovative mechanisms which combined development-oriented poverty alleviation with post-earthquake reconstruction have brought about a certain inspiration to sustainable development of poverty-stricken villages in quake-stricken areas.
5.1 Stick to the combination of disaster prevention and mitigation with development-oriented poverty alleviation
Among 592 national-level poverty-stricken counties in China, 70% of them lie in vulnerable eco-regions and suffer enormous harm due to frequent natural disasters. The devastation that Wenchuan earthquake caused on poverty-stricken villages indicated that natural disasters were one of the major causes leading to farmers’ poverty. For instance, Diping and Taihong Village of Beichuan County, where arable land was only 0. 1 and 0. 2 mu per capita after the earthquake. Most farmers’ house sites were completely ruined, and relied on government requisition land for rebuilding rural houses alone. It was hard for them to maintain livelihood just based on present arable land to develop production. In 2009, several farmers’ reconstruction houses just have been capped, but were quickly buried by “9·24” floods. These farmers had to rebuild houses in debt. Therefore, to ensure sustainable development in impoverished villages of the quake-stricken areas, it was necessary to integrate development-oriented poverty alleviation policy with post-earthquake reconstruction; therefore, relevant departments should profoundly realize and earnestly implement central leaders’ important instruction such as “combine development-oriented poverty reduction with post-earthquake reconstruction” as well as “the Scientific Outlook on Development”, strengthen responsibilities and sense of urgency. At the same time, it's important to keep in line with natural disasters emergency plans and post-earthquake reconstruction experience summarized in poverty-stricken villages, strengthen communication with relevant sectors and collective investigation, gradually establish mechanisms of mutual supporting emergency in the phase of disaster and post-disaster reconstruction in order to accomplish mutual convergence of funds, policies and measures and maximize their overall benefit
5.2 Adhere to the combination of post-earthquake reconstruction with comprehensive development-oriented poverty reduction in villages and the whole popularization.
Comprehensive development-oriented poverty reduction in villages and the whole popularization is main approach and vital content in Chinese development-oriented poverty alleviation policies. It is indispensable for poverty relief work to combine comprehensive development-oriented poverty alleviation in villages and the whole popularization with post-quake reconstruction to improve reconstruction and promote sustainable development in poverty-stricken villages. So, it’s significant to lay emphasis on establishment of the plan to achieve that purpose.
5. 3 Uphold the combination of poverty alleviation policies with rural subsistence allowance system
In accordance with the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development unified deployment, pilot work on “two systems”—development-oriented poverty alleviation and rural subsistence allowance system—were effectively formulated to identify the poor holders and poverty households. For poor holders, the system mainly provided their basic needs; for poverty households, the system improved their basic living and production conditions. By means of pilot projects, a new pattern—“Two Wheel Drive” (rural subsistence allowance system and development-oriented poverty alleviation) — was set up. It could effectively enhance the general level and benefits of development-oriented poverty alleviation in poverty-stricken villages and make impoverished population shake off poverty and become rich as soon as possible.
5. 4 Uphold the combination of external help with stimulating internal vigor
The Party Committees and governments of earthquake-stricken areas endeavored to assist the poor and showed fully respect for their key role. With full enthusiasm and wisdom, they also encouraged farmers to insist on the self-reliance and hard work spirit—Don’t wait, don’t loosen, don’t stop—so as to rebuild a better home with their own hands.
5.5 Uphold the combination of development-oriented poverty reduction with developing characteristic industries
Integrate resources from all sectors so as to bring about economic development in poverty-stricken villages. Depending on their own advantageous resources, market-oriented demand and fully respecting the villagers7 wishes, Sichuan poverty alleviation system carefully screened projects through scientific planning and reasonable layout, which were mainly devoted to such characteristic industries as farm production and poultry raising to help the poor solve their long-term livelihood in impoverished areas.
5. 6 Uphold the combination of government dominance with social assistance
Great efforts should be devoted to coordinating the Central and Provincial government offices which take the responsibility for poverty relief, and activities—leaders take charge of spot; sectors undertake village; cadres help households, and strive for more support from all sectors for villagers in the quake-stricken areas, and then further mobilize social forces to participate in helping the poor and assisting the needy. In the end, a new pattern of “General poverty alleviation” could be really set up.