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State Council calls for efforts in poverty alleviation

Updated: Dec 5,2014 5:17 PM

The State Council asked ministries and institutions under its leadership and governments at provincial levels to increase efforts to encourage individuals and organizations — including enterprises and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) — to take part in poverty reduction initiatives.

In a circular issued on Dec 4, the State Council asked that these authorities should help build a mechanism so that everyone will be willing and able to contribute to poverty reduction, and the market, the third sector and the authorities will work together to achieve their goals.

The circular said that the authorities should lead efforts concerning the country’s poverty reduction initiatives, while allowing individuals and organizations outside the government to make the maximum use of their own strengths.

Private enterprises — due to their strengths in finance, technology and management, and their ability to adjust quickly to the market — have the potential to carry out various programs to help reduce poverty, such as investment, skills training, recruitment initiatives and funding.

The State Council thus asked various authorities to encourage private enterprises to take part in poverty reduction efforts and assume their social responsibilities.  

The authorities should also encourage social organizations, such as various foundations and NGOs — and as many individuals as possible — to participate in these efforts.   

They should promote the notion of “one for all, all for one”, and enable people from all walks of life to interact and assist each other.

They should also guide compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and Chinese nationals residing overseas and foreigners to take part — by making donations, offering their services on a voluntary basis, or sponsoring individuals or families.  

The government departments should send outstanding middle-aged and younger officials to work in poor counties and villages on a regular basis, thus helping to lift the counties and villages out of poverty.

The State Council asked government departments in relatively developed regions and those in underdeveloped regions to liaise on a regular basis. They should also strengthen programs concerning exchanges of government officials and professional talents, and encourage talents to work in remote areas of West China.   

The circular said that government departments should encourage college students, professional talents, retirees and others to work as volunteers on poverty reduction programs, form associations of such volunteers and carry out various programs.

The authorities should also inspire various parties to channel their resources to poor areas through well-known poverty reduction programs, including China Guangcai Program, Project Hope and Water Cellar for Mothers, and encourage these parties to participate in important government programs.

The State Council asked authorities to promote new programs that focus on special groups in poor areas, such as left-behind women, children, the elderly and disabled.  

The cabinet asked authorities to set up an information platform that provides accurate information concerning missions, so that those involved in the poverty reduction initiatives will be able to design programs that meet the needs of people requiring assistance.   

The authorities should encourage outside organizations to participate in beddings, with the authorities selecting the best poverty reduction programs and the best organizations to manage the programs.  

They should also offer favorable policies for enterprises and NGOs engaging in poverty reduction — including tax breaks, a streamlined registration process, and the possibility of naming programs to honor organizations or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to poverty reduction.   

The authorities should also improve supervision of how NGOs and enterprises conduct fundraising and use funds for poverty reduction initiatives — and urge these organizations to conduct a third-party assessment of their programs.