15 mn impoverished disabled live in rural China

Beijing, April 10 (IANS) About 15 million disabled people live below China’s poverty line in rural areas, the China Disabled Persons Federation said Wednesday.

The group accounts for about 12 percent of the country’s total population living in poverty, according to a statement from the group, reports Xinhua.

The poverty threshold for China’s rural residents is set at an annual net income of 2,300 yuan ($365), or around $1 a day.

Most of these disabled people have extremely limited income and mainly depend on government assistance and family support, the statement said.

Due to their physical conditions, many are unable to work, so most poverty reduction programmes were unable to help them improve their financial situations, it said.

Even when a disabled person’s income improves, a single accident, like falling ill, could throw that person back into poverty, it added.

The federation called for more government investment and private capital in poverty-reduction programs designed especially for disabled rural residents.

The money should go toward vocational training for disabled people, counselling programs and small loans to help them find livelihoods or start their own businesses, the statement said.

The country has already established about 5,200 poverty-reduction centers for disabled people, but these centers require preferential policies and stable funding, it said.

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