HI has been working in China for more than 20 years, in particular in poor and rural areas, to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.
An emergency intervention following the earthquake that struck Sichuan on May 12, 2008. | © E. Mogster / HI
Humanity & Inclusion has been 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 is 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 has focused on the development of functional rehabilitation, inclusive education, and inclusive poverty reduction services. Today the program is maintaining its focus on inclusive education and inclusive poverty reduction while adding new interventions in the areas of inclusive employment and community-based mental health rehabilitation.
Priority cross-cutting issues for HI in China include 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.
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.
Number of HI staff members: 13
Date the program launched: 2000