China committed to ending extreme poverty in rural areas by Li Yunlong, March 25, 2020
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China has helped more than 800 million people escape from poverty since it began to implement reform and opening up policy in 1978, and the undertaking has continued to be one of the country’s top priorities.

In 2019, the Ministry of Finance released more than 126 billion yuan (about US$17.79 billion) of poverty alleviation funding to regional governments. The figure is the culmination of annual increases of 20 billion yuan (about US$2.82) over the last four years. All levels of government have also increased investments in poverty alleviation programs and are focusing on improving agriculture, education, transportation, medical services, the environment, and other areas that help people and regions escape from poverty.

About 5.51 million of China’s villagers and 52 of its counties were impoverished at the end of 2019; the government has been intensifying efforts to eliminate extreme poverty in rural areas in 2020. Key tasks include business development, job creation, improvement of follow-up services at sites that poverty-stricken people have relocated to, improved identification of citizens who have emerged from poverty, and establishment of institutional guarantees that prevent those who have climbed out of poverty from falling back into it.

China has also been taking various measures to counter the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The government has been encouraging various organizations to prioritize impoverished people when hiring, commencing major construction projects, and building logistics systems. It has been providing a number of temporary epidemic prevention jobs to laborers who are not able to work as a result of complications related to the epidemic and promoting connections between farmers and purchasers in order to move products from impoverished areas.

China is helping industries that benefit impoverished people resume production by making poverty reduction funds and microloans available and taking other measures as well. It has been striving to complete tap water and housing renovation projects that assist impoverished citizens and all auxiliary facilities in relocation sites that poverty-stricken residents have moved to in the first half of the year. Finally, the government has also been providing assistance to villagers who become impoverished or return to poverty as a result of the epidemic via social safety net programs and other methods.

Stable poverty reduction policies will also be maintained in villages and counties that are no longer impoverished in order to promote sustainable outcomes. More than 2.8 million poverty alleviation officials will continue with their work in order to help ensure that absolute poverty is permanently eliminated in rural areas.

The author is a professor at the CPC Central Party School (Chinese Academy of Governance).

The original article was published in Chinese and translated into English by Jin Ling.

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