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Govt releases plan to fight poverty in five years

Updated: Dec 2,2016 9:54 PM     english.gov.cn

A plan to fight poverty in the next five years was released by the State Council on Dec 2, aimed at lifting all poor people who live in rural regions out of poverty in 2020.

By 2020, their income will be doubled and all of them will enjoy basic education, healthcare, safe place to live, enough food and clothes.

The current Chinese poverty line is 2,855 yuan ($414.5) per year, equal to $2.19 per day, which is higher than the international benchmark ($1.9).

At the end of 2015, the number of rural residents under the poverty line was 560 million, according to data from the State Council.

The following measures will tackle poverty from 11 aspects:

Economic development

The plan urges local authorities in poor regions to promote their competitive industries and products, especially labor-intensive ones, based on resource endowment.

Key industries that will be promoted include agriculture, forestry, tourism, e-commerce and high-tech sector.

In addition, the State Council encourages poor families to pool their land in enterprises or other economic entities as shares, so that they can enjoy dividends.

Job creation

The government vows to create more jobs for poor people. Those enterprises who enjoy government subsidies should hire the poor first, the plan said.

For those who work in other places, local governments should provide them with basic public services, such as basic education for their children and public housing.

Local governments are also urged to provide more vocational training to the poor. In particular, free training will be provided to children of poor families, migrant workers, graduates of middle schools.

Relocation

As an important move in fighting poverty, 9.81 million people living in poor regions where the natural environment is uninhabitable and social economic conditions are underdeveloped will be moved to other places that are more favorable for living.

The government will invest 60 billion yuan to build apartments for those relocated. Supporting facilities, including water supply, electricity, and transportation, will also be constructed, as well as public services such as healthcare and education.

Education

Facilities of the schools and kindergartens in poor regions will be improved, according to the plan.

The teachers in those schools will receive more training. And their salaries will be raised.

For poor students, fees in higher middle school will be free. And more money will be provided to support their college education.

In addition, the government also plans to build more vocational schools for the poor students who cannot enter college.

Healthcare

The hospitals in poor regions will receive more support, including money, vocational training and technology.

Medical insurance for the poor will be enhanced. Those suffering major diseases will be provided with more reimbursement.

Ecological protection

The plan urges protection of the ecological environment in poor regions, especially in West China, so as to ensure sustainable development.

For those farmers who suffer financial loss in environmental protection — for example, due to ban on cutting trees or grazing — the government will provide them with compensation.

Social insurance system

The government will improve rural minimum living standard guarantee system and the pension system.

Children and disabled poor people will also receive more care from the government.

Apart from the above measures, the plan also urges enterprises, military and NGOs to join in the fight against poverty, and to improve the infrastructure and utilities in poor regions.

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