Home |  Elder Rights |  Health |  Pension Watch |  Rural Aging |  Armed Conflict |  Aging Watch at the UN  


Mission  |  Contact Us  |  Internships  |    




   2005 - 2007

1998 - 2002










Rural Aging Issues
around the World

Articles in Arabic | Chinese | French | Russian | Spanish


Zimbabwe: Economic and AIDS Crises in Zimbabwe Force Elderly Women to Live in Poverty (September 21, 2011)
The elderly in Zimbabwe are the most impoverished members of society, particularly due to the economic meltdown at the turn of the century. The HIV and AIDS epidemic aggravates the situation because the elderly have to take care of the afflicted younger generation. While NGOs are dedicated to helping the elderly, the government has yet to enact legislation to protect them.

Swaziland: Elderly Feel the Loss of Extended Family (June 14, 2011)
In Swaziland, urbanization has led younger people to live in cities while leaving older people in rural areas. Being separated by long distances, older people endure loneliness and have to cope on their own. With insecure pension payments because of Swaziland’s difficult economic situation, older people need to find ways to survive. More and more older people, for instance, must look for seeds, berries and wild berries to augment their food supply.

Zambia: Mobile Hospitals Good (August 12, 2010)

Former health minister Nkandu Luo has said the initiative by the government to buy mobile hospitals will benefit the country and has called for training more health personnel to manage them. Times of Zambia research has shown that mobile hospitals have in their various forms worked well in developing countries where health services are not easily accessed. This will increase access to medical care for older persons, especially those living in rural parts of the country.


Americas & Caribbean 

Canada: Access to Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialists an Issue (July 6, 2010)
Nearly 60 percent of Ontario residents with rheumatoid arthritis do not receive timely 

Asia Pacific

China: Ensuring that Rural Seniors Enjoy their Golden Years is the Best Way to Address the Population Aging Crisis (December 8, 2011)
(Article in Chinese)
China’s rural population is aging much faster than its urban population. Senior citizens constitute 15.4 percent of the rural population, a figure that is higher than the national average of 13.26 percent. An adequate pension is the best way to address the rural population aging crisis--far better than encouraging larger families as a form of old-age security. Rural seniors can enjoy their golden years if they are free of financial burdens. Many provinces have already begun experimenting with various social security programs, but these programs need to be further evaluated and promoted.

China: Aging Farmers in Minhou County Will Receive Higher Payouts (December 2, 2011)
(Article in Chinese)
Aging farmers in Minhou County will receive an additional 40 yuan payout from January 2011. According to this standard, male and female farmers aged at least 60 and 55 years respectively can receive a maximum of 180 yuan payout. In 2010, 41,571 farmers received such benefits.

Taiwan: Legislature OKs Farmer Pension Hike (December 2, 2011)
The Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the farmer pension statute to raise monthly payments for old farmers by NT$1,000 starting next year. The amendment requires the government to adjust the pension every four years, based on the country’s consumer price index.  It also disqualifies wealthy farmers from the pension program.

China: Scholar Claims that China Faces More Rapid Aging in Rural Areas than in Cities (November 15, 2011)
(Article in Chinese)
A scholar from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Du Yang, claims that rural areas in China experience more rapid aging than cities. He thinks that this is due to the urban-rural duality structure that China adopts in granting residence, social security and other rights to its citizens. He proposes that China learn from Japan since both countries share similar circumstances; like Japan, China may manage its aging crisis without compromising economic growth. 

Taiwan: President Ma Details Increase to Farmer Subsidies (October 19, 2011)
President Ma Ying-jeou announced the government’s plan to increase monthly subsidies for elderly farmers and adjust the subsidies every four years in accordance with the Consumer Price Index. Ma said that the additional subsidies would represent an extra NT$6.8 billion next year and would benefit 2.87 million people. The plan will also include an anti-rich clause.

China: Severe Rural Aging in China Needs Attention (October 9, 2011)
(Article in Chinese)
The rural aging crisis in China is extremely severe. The rural population in China mainly consists of senior citizens and children, as most youth migrate to the cities to work. Professor of retirement studies at the University of Macau, Dr Cheng Xijie, called for greater government expenditure on social benefits to enhance the social security network in rural areas.

Taiwan: KMT Changes Position on Subsidy for Elderly Farmers (September 24, 2011)
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) withdrew its opposition to raise the monthly subsidy for older personsas proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). This actioncame after the DPP accused the KMT of obstructing the amendment to the Temporary Statute Regarding the Welfare Pension of Senior Farmers. KMT will coordinate party members after the Executive Yuan haslaid outthe government’s position within a month.

China: Rural Aging Population Has Reached 15.4% (September 19, 2011)
(Article in Chinese)
The ongoing National Strategic Response to Aging Population Research shows that China’s rural aging population has reached 15.4 percent, higher than that in the urban areas. However, the cities have stronger programs to cope with issues of aging. Therefore, China now focuses more on pension systems for the rural aging population. 

China: China extends pension program to rural elderly(September 12, 2011)
(Article in Chinese)
Since 2009, about 200 million rural residents have joined the new rural pension program for the elderly, and more than 50 million rural senior citizens have received monthly pension payments. By 2015, all urban and rural senior citizens are supposed to be covered by pension programs.

China: Rural Elderly in Liaoning Would Be Pensioned (May 10, 2011)
(Article in Chinese)
Starting in July 2011, all older people who are insured in rural Liaoning Province will receive an additional 660 RMB (RMB=Chinese currency) to their wage. The province is beginning to implement the rural area pension, intended to provide rural elders with full coverage. It combines an individual payment, group payment and governmental subsidy. As the Chinese economy continues to improve, the pension for older people should increase even more in the near future.

Report : China : China’s New Rural Pension Scheme: Can It Be Improved? (2010)
China has never enjoyed a government financed social protection system that covered a large fraction of those who live in rural areas. Some 800 million Chinese older people live in the countryside. China recently started a major effort to bring pension coverage to old people in rural China. Combining the new pension scheme with a proposed universal social pension might be effective in reducing elder poverty in rural areas and also lower the income inequality between rural and urban areas.

China: Study in South China Shows More People Are Getting Old with No Support from Their Children (October 25, 2010)
(Article in Arabic)
Chinese study shows that younger generations are leaving rural areas to start new lives in the cities, leaving their aging parents behind. The study shows that only 10% from the 1300 seniors included in the study receive any form of financial support from their children.

Europe and Central Asia

France: The Great March of Seniors (August 30, 2011)

(Article in French)

The association “les Ainés ruraux d’Aveyron” ("Rural Seniors in Aveyron"), which is the first association of senior citizens in France, organized various activities and actions of solidarity throughout the year. For September, it is preparing a day of hiking on the famous “Chemins de Compostelle” from France to Spain. The march will be open to all ages to promote intergenerational solidarity and to avoid the isolation experienced by many older persons.

France: Solidarity Minister Bachelot Visiting a Holiday House for Older Isolated Persons (August 3, 2011)
(Article in French)
In Brittany, a holiday house managed by the association Petit Frères des Pauvres, hosts older isolated persons who rarely have the opportunity to go on holiday. This year, some Northern France inhabitants have the pleasure to enjoy the ocean, tides and diverse visits. 

France: Older Persons Accompanied to Town (July 22, 2011)
(Article in French)
Every Thursday, this little town in Western France offers a vehicle providing transportations for older persons living in the neighborhood to the town. The seniors are able to go to the little supermarket and purchase enough food for one week, and also to meet friends there.

France: ADMR, an Association for Home Service, Helps the Inhabitants (June 17, 2011)
(Article in French)
In Brittany, the association ADMR (Home Service in Rural Areas) helps older persons living in rural areas through a home help service. The experienced volunteers of the association ensure the autonomy of the old persons who want to stay in their rural accommodation. They also give some help for daily tasks along with providing social support.

France: Vacations to Break the Humdrum of Everyday Life (June 4, 2011)

(Article in French)
Thanks to the association Aide à domicile en milieu rural (home support in rural areas), nine older people, ages 80 and over, enjoyed a 3-day vacation in French Loire-Atlantique. The association--which looks after older persons in rural areas--was in charge of transportation, housing and sightseeing. The trips are often the only holiday of the year for these seniors.

Spain : Thinking in Rural (February 14, 2011)
(Article in Spanish)

Only 15% of the Western population live in the rural areas and people continue moving to the cities because of the opportunity for wellbeing: better access to technology, transportation, schools, doctors, etc. However, some people, called neorurals, have left the sophistication of NYC or Geneva for the paths of Ures (a small town located in the province of Guadalajara in Spain).

Ukraine : Older Persons in Mariupol Give Up their Apartments in Exchange for a Free Funeral (9 February 2011)
(Article in Russian) 
Single older persons in Mariupol have contracted with their local government to give their housing to the city in exchange for hospice care and funeral costs. The city takes ownership only after the owner’s death. Eight seniors have already given their housing to City Hall. This fact reveals the grave condition of older persons in the city: they are practically giving their housing away.

Spain: Older People as Actors in the Rural Community, Innovation and Empowerment (November 1, 2010)
(Report in Spanish)

Aging in an active and satisfactory way is linked to participating in society. In Catalonia, old people from rural villages attest to this principle. The study suggests ways to reinforce the community through strengthening social participation systems without urbanizing it. 

Ireland: Elderly Farmers Who Are Living Alone ‘Live in Fear of Their Lives' (October 21, 2010)
In rural Ireland, elderly farmers living alone face nightly the fear of assaults that take place from time to time. Terrible
attacks have happened. Experts called for new strategies and programs to ensure the safety of older persons.

Middle East and North Africa

Palestine: Saving the Planet by Taking Older People Back to Nature (May 15, 2009)
(Article in Arabic)

Often governments and organizations target young people as the group responsible for protecting the future of the environment. Recently however, the Center for the Elderly and the Social Welfare Department in the municipality of Sakhnin (an Arab-Israeli city) arranged a “day in nature” for senior citizens. Hundreds of older people participated in this rural gathering that attempted to “go back to nature.” They took part in a series of traditional cultural activities to emphasize the historical and spiritual link between people and land, helping to generate a sense of social responsibility for the environment. 



World: IBM to Develop Mobile Apps for Rural, Aging Population (August 4, 2010)
IBM is joining hands with eminent academic institutes in India and Japan to find solutions that will help make mobile phone use more convenient for people who are illiterate or aged. In order to increase accessibly to mobile phones in rural areas, the collaboration would develop applications for mobile platforms that are simple and easy to use.

Copyright © Global Action on Aging
Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us