How to End Poverty? A US-China Expert Dialogue

October 13, 2020 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Event Organizer

China Center for Social Policy, Columbia University


Introduced by
Dean and Professor, Columbia School of Social Work

Moderated by
QIN GAO (bio)
Professor of Social Policy, Columbia School of Social Work
Director, China Center for Social Policy

Featuring an opening keynote lecture by
Lead Chair Professor, China Agricultural University (CAU)
Honorary Dean of College of International Development and Global Agriculture
Chair of China International Development Research Network (CIDRN)

Followed by a panel discussion among five leading scholars from China and the United States:
Jane Waldfogel (bio), School of Social Work | LI Shi (bio), Zehjiang University | Ron Mincy (bio), School of Social Work | ZHU Ling (bio), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences | GAN Li (bio), Texas A&M University and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics

Also featuring a closing keynote lecture by
University Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Development
Columbia University

Cosponsored by


There has been remarkable progress in global poverty reduction. Since 1990, a quarter of the world’s population has risen out of extreme poverty. In 2015, 10 percent of the world’s population lived on less than $1.90 a day, down from nearly 36 percent in 1990. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts, it is likely that the poverty reduction progress will slow down or reverse in 2020. The World Bank estimates that 40 to 60 million people will fall into extreme poverty (under $1.90/day) in 2020. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the global extreme poverty rate could rise by 0.3 to 0.7 percentage points. It is evident that without intensified action and concerted global efforts, the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 will not be met.

It is also important to note the changing global poverty landscape. In the last three years, East Asia and the Pacific has continued its poverty reduction progress, mainly driven by decreases in poverty in China. In contrast, the Middle East and Africa have seen a sharp reversal in their poverty reduction trends. In Latin America, poverty reduction has largely stagnated. The United States is still suffering from the huge hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, with those in poverty hit hardest and becoming especially vulnerable. China aims to eliminate extreme poverty by the end of this year, but to eliminate relative poverty will be its long-term task. Fighting against different forms of poverty both at home and abroad will be shared challenges faced by China and the US.

Against this backdrop, we are honored to cohost this webinar and have eight leading scholars from China and the United States to hold a dialogue on how to end poverty in the changing global context.