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China (inactive)

HI worked in China for more than 20 years, in particular in poor and rural areas, to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.

A woman sits in a chair with her leg being held and assessed by a man kneeling besides her.

An emergency intervention following the earthquake that struck Sichuan on May 12, 2008. | © E. Mogster / HI

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Humanity & Inclusion was present in China for more than 20 years. Its first actions in the country were in response to natural disasters in Guangxi, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang provinces. In China, HI’s objective was to work alongside government and civil society partners to provide direct support to people in the poorest rural areas of the country, and to support civil society partners in their efforts to promote inclusive policy development.

Historically, the program had focused on the development of functional rehabilitation, inclusive education, and inclusive poverty reduction services. It also evolved to provide support in the areas of inclusive employment and community-based mental health rehabilitation.

Priority cross-cutting issues for HI in China included strengthening the capacities of local civil society, supporting the transition from institutional services models to community-based and personalized service models, and promoting equity of all ages, genders and disability types in national disability inclusive development dialogue.

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Handicap International in Tibet: an operation spanning 15 years
© Handicap International

Handicap International in Tibet: an operation spanning 15 years

Handicap International began working in the Tibet Autonomous Region - where its many projects were designed to promote the social inclusion of people with disabilities - in 2000. In mid-2015, the organization withdrew from the region and entrusted the follow-up of its projects to its former local partner, the Tibet Persons' Federation.


Map of Humanity & Inclusion's interventions in China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion in 2021. Covering approximately 3.7 million square miles, it is the world's third largest country by area.

While the overall health and economic situation of China’s population has dramatically improved, civil and social rights protections remain a significant concern in the country. 

According to the latest national disability survey, the mean annual income of people with disabilities in China is more than 50% below the national average. Only a third of people with disabilities requiring functional rehabilitation services have access to this care, and only a fifth of people who need mobility aids – artificial limbs, wheelchairs, braces, etc. – have access to them. Schools and workplaces are also difficult to access for people with disabilities.

Though the country has modernized, its rapid development has been accompanied by the emergence of new disparities. One of the most worrying consequences is the growing inequality between the poor regions in China’s interior and the rich provinces to the east and south. Many people also live in poverty in the west of the country. People with disabilities in these regions experience extreme vulnerability.

Furthermore, China is prone to natural disasters, and its provinces are frequently affected by major earthquakes and widespread flooding.

Date the program launched: 2000

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