Hunan for years has sent waves of migrant workers to the cities in search of a better life and an escape from tough farm labor.
But now there are as many as two million Hunanese searching for work, the majority laid off from seaboard factories as the impact of the global economic crisis creeps into China’s rural heartland.
Hunan province once sent a million new farmers a year to work in China’s booming cities. Now the financial crisis means it is scrabbling to keep two million unemployed off the streets, a senior official said.
Beijing fears joblessness could lead to destabilizing unrest and has ordered local governments to throw their energy into keeping their citizens in some kind of employment.
Please pray for the people of Yueyang, many of whom are feeling the effects of the global economic slowdown in much more tangible ways than those of us living in more ‘affluent’ countries. Pray that food and housing needs are met and that this crisis would create a new openness to hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ.