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Poverty reduction remains top priority in ‘China's No. 1 central document’ by Sun Fang,February 12, 2020 Adjust font size:

Released Feb. 5, “China's No. 1 central document” prioritizes poverty alleviation and the improvement of weak links in rural areas. According to the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, 16 counties have a poverty incidence of over five percent, and the rate is over 10 percent in 1,107 villages. Most of them are in western China. Poverty reduction in extremely impoverished areas can be an arduous task.

At the end of 2019, there were 5.51 million impoverished people and more than 50 poverty-stricken counties in China. The Chinese government is committed to poverty reduction and is intensifying efforts to lift people and counties out of poverty in 2020.“The No. 1 central document” stipulates that poverty elimination targets should be fully realized in 2020, stable poverty alleviation policies should be implemented in order to help impoverished people find new opportunities, institutional guarantees that prevent people who have escaped from poverty from falling back into it should be provided in a bid to consolidate results, and greater emphasis should be put on addressing relative poverty and this should become normalized.

The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOP) stated that top-level design has improved and measures have been clarified during the last several years of poverty eradication. Implementation is key now that sufficient funds and personnel exist and effective policies are in place.The LGOP affirms that efforts should be made to ensure that impoverished rural citizens have access to compulsory education, basic medical services, and safe housing and do not need to worry about food and clothing.

For the impoverished people who cannot help themselves out of poverty by getting a job or earning income with the industrial development, the government should take measures to meet their basic needs. The LGOP specifies the following ideas as well:

Poverty reduction officials should rise to the occasion, and funding should continue to increase.The central government prioritizes areas that are deeply impoverished. Poverty alleviation work should also be supervised, especially in these areas.

Systems should be established that monitor the return to poverty that sometimes occurs among people and geographical areas that have escaped from it and provide assistance with this issue.Stable poverty reduction policies should be maintained in counties and villages that are no longer impoverished in order to promote sustainable outcomes. All levels of government in areas that have achieved enduring poverty alleviation can also utilize poverty alleviation funds to support the general development of counties and villages in a manner that is tailored to local conditions.

Relative poverty should receive more attention, and a long-term mechanism should be created to address the problem.Although most people have escaped from absolute poverty in China, there are still many challenges ahead.





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