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China prioritizes water conservation projects in poor areas

Updated: Mar 15,2016 7:32 PM     Xinhua

China will give more financial and policy support to improving water conservation infrastructure in impoverished regions, the country’s top economic planner has pledged.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), around 40 percent of the central budget for rural water conservation infrastructure should be invested in poverty-stricken regions, according to a guideline released on March 15 by the National Development and Reform Commission.

The planner did not disclose the exact figure.

Priority will be given to developing “high-standard farmland” that is drought- and flood-resistant in poor areas, with a target of adding more than 30 million mu of such land from 2016 to 2020, the agency added.

The policy focusing on rural water projects is part of wider government efforts to help 70 million remaining poor people shake off poverty and enjoy essential social services by 2020.

According to the government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5, the central government will increase its poverty alleviation budget by 43.4 percent this year, lifting at least 10 million people out of poverty by the end of the year.