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nitiative is a challenge, but achievable,” she said, adding that at the heart of this challenge lies great potenti
al for innovation and creativity, such as new disaster risk prediction and analysis, and disaster-resilient infrastructures.
Huang Runqiu, vice-minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said dis
aster risk reduction of natural hazards along the initiative is crucial for its success and sustainability.
Regions at the heart of the initiative, such as the Tianshan-Pamir Platea
u, the Himalayas, eastern parts of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and South Asia, are facing serio
us disaster threats due to tectonic movements, fragile ecosystems and extreme weather, he said.
Henrik Slotte, a senior disaster management expert from the UN Environm
ent Program, said poorly managed infrastructure projects can damage the ecosystem.
whose annual net income was less than 200 yuan ($30) were defined as living below the p
overty line in China in 1985. The line was raised to less than 2,300 yuan by 2011.
Second, how are policies designed to help the poorest people? Chinese policies aim to give the poor a roof over their heads, guarantee
food, clothing and basic medical services, and provide their children with nine years of compulsory education.
Funds and resources have been made available for agricultural subsidies and cheap loans to rural far
mers. Funds also went into rural revitalization, to integrate regional development and build infrast
ructure connecting villages to markets so that farmers could sell their products more easily. Villagers have been enco
uraged to be innovative, with incentives and loans for them to become self-employed and to set up micro-businesses.
Moreover, teams of officials have been traveling to faraway and isolated rural areas to help individual
s and families with individualized plans that target specific problems, such as whether there is ill
ness or disability in the household. In other words, China has not taken a “one-size-fits-all” approach for the tough cases.
meting purchasing power across the country. It’s a situation, Emami says, that has made a lot of treatable cases lethal.
”I have a patient upstairs … I diagnosed him with brain cancer. The cost of biopsy, the chemotherapy and medication is
very high. So, the family asked me if I could leave him be,” says Emami. “Every day, we see this story here.”
Even when families can afford medical equipment they often join long waiting lists. Cardia
c pacemakers are in short supply in the country, and patients must abandon their regular lifestyles, an
d become admitted to hospitals where they are hooked up to a cardiac machine.
Emami tells CNN that some families are opting out of paying for feed
ing tubes for relatives with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Without the feeding tubes, the pat
ients spend the rest of their days wired to machines in hospitals, instead of receiving home care.