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Sub-anchor: Highlights of China's 5-year poverty alleviation plan


11-30-2016 12:43 BJT

What are the key points of the plan to boost poverty alleviation efforts?

The plan is considered a milestone as it is the country's first five-year program for poverty alleviation. One of the highlights is that the government has decided to alleviate poverty by developing industries in the least-developed areas. Under the plan, forestry, tourism and e-commerce will be promoted with industries to be rising for each village, township and county. It aims to increase incomes of the poor and diversify the local economy. This targeted poverty alleviation plan marks an upgrade from the traditional methods of granting money or distributing food and other goods to locals. It works instead to establish enduring channels of income. In addition, favorable policies for financing and land will be conducted, while relatively developped eastern areas will be encouraged to help less developped western areas for balanced development. Some experts say targeted poverty alleviation has shifted its focus to specific farmers and their families, from the traditional focus on regional development. This framework sets specific targets as for objectives, projects, funds and who will benefit. Vice Premier Wang Yang, who is also head of the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development, said sustainable poverty reduction measures, such as developing industries and expanding employment, should be strengthened.

China has entered a new stage in its poverty reduction efforts. What has been achieved and what's still needed to be done?

Reducing poverty in the country is a hard nut to crack. Despite its impressive gains, China still has a large population living in profound poverty, and the solutions to their problems are becoming increasingly costly and complex. According to a white paper published by the State Council Information Office, more than 700 million Chinese people have got rid of poverty since the launch of reform and opening up policy three decades ago. But by the end of 2015, China still had 55.75 million people living in poverty, an equivalent to the population of a medium-sized country. China plans to eradicate poverty by 2020, that is, to lift 10 million people out of poverty every year from 2016. The uphill task will be accomplished by developing specialty industries, job creation, relocation of poor people, infrastructure-building and extensions of social security coverage. The Chinese government also assigned special poverty relief funds amounting to 189.84 billion yuan, or about $28.17 billion, from 2011 to 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 14.5 percent. The government will allocate more funds to keep pace with the needs of poverty relief in the coming five years. It also has prioritized education in these efforts. According to statistics released by the State Council Information Office, in 2012-2015, the central government invested 83.1 billion yuan in renovating schools for compulsory education. It also earmarked 14 billion yuan to build dormitories for some 300,000 teachers in remote rural areas. To achieve its goal of eliminating poverty by 2020, China says governments at different levels must take full responsibility to fulfill the plan.

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