Sources of Poverty Reduction Funds

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The LGPR has categorized three kinds of funds as rural poverty reduction

funds; these are subsidized loans, food-for-work and budgetary funds.

The total amount spent by the central government since 1986 under these

headings is presented in Table 4.2. Total nominal poverty funds increased

steadily over 1986 to 2002, from 4.2 billion yuan to 29.1 billion yuan, which

is an annual rate of nearly 13 per cent. However, the funds increased much

more slowly in real terms at an annual rate of 6 per cent. Because of high

infl ation in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the funds stagnated in real terms

until 1996, after which they increased dramatically. Over the whole period

subsidized loans accounted for 59 per cent of the total, food-for-work funds

for 24 per cent and budgetary funds for 17 per cent. Total poverty funds

were roughly 5 per cent of the central government budget and 0.2 per cent

of GDP. Their shares of the government budget were relatively higher in

the early and late 1990s and their share of GDP was highest in the mid-

1980s.

In addition to these three main funds from central government, several

other sources are also important for poor counties. One study estimates that

poverty investments by local governments and government departments

have been roughly a quarter of the investments from the central government

(Li, 2001). In addition international donors, such as the World Bank, the

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Fund

for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and bilateral development agencies,

such as those of Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom, have also had

various poverty reduction projects in PRC for many years.

Table 4.2 Poverty reduction funds from the central government (100 million yuan)

Share of

government Share of

Subsidized loans Food-for-work Budgetary funds Subtotal budget GDP

Year Nominal Real (1986 Nominal Real (1986 Nominal Real (1986 Nominal Real (1986

constant price) constant price) constant price) constant price) % %

1986 23.0 23.0 9.0 9.0 10.0 10.0 42.0 42.0 5.0 0.4

1987 23.0 21.4 9.0 8.4 10.0 9.3 42.0 39.1 5.0 0.4

1988 29.0 22.8 0.0 0.0 10.0 7.9 39.0 30.7 4.6 0.3

1989 30.0 20.0 1.0 0.7 10.0 6.7 41.0 27.4 4.6 0.2

1990 30.0 19.6 6.0 3.9 10.0 6.5 46.0 30.1 4.6 0.2

1991 35.0 22.2 18.0 11.4 10.0 6.4 63.0 40.0 5.8 0.3

1992 41.0 24.7 16.0 9.6 10.0 6.0 67.0 40.4 5.7 0.3

1993 35.0 18.6 30.0 16.0 11.0 5.9 76.0 40.5 5.8 0.2

1994 45.0 19.7 40.0 17.5 12.0 5.3 97.0 42.5 5.5 0.2

1995 45.0 17.2 40.0 15.3 13.0 5.0 98.0 37.4 4.9 0.2

1996 55.0 19.8 40.0 14.4 13.0 4.7 108.0 38.8 5.0 0.2

1997 85.0 30.3 40.0 14.3 28.0 10.0 153.0 54.6 6.0 0.2

1998 100.0 36.6 50.0 18.3 33.0 12.1 183.0 67.0 5.9 0.2

1999 150.0 56.6 50.0 18.9 43.0 16.2 243.0 91.7 5.9 0.3

2000 150.0 57.5 50.0 19.2 48.0 18.4 248.0 95.0 4.5 0.3

2001 185.0 71.5 60.0 23.2 40.0 15.4 285.0 110.1 4.9 0.3

2002 185.0 72.4 66.0 25.8 40.0 15.7 291.0 113.9 4.3 0.3

Total 1246.0 554.0 525.0 225.8 351.0 161.3 2122.0 941.1 5.1 0.2

Source: Poverty funds data are from the LGPR; GDP and government budget data are from the China Statistical Yearbook, various years.