Director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development Liu Yongfu answers questions at a press conference on the “battle” of targeted poverty alleviation during the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 7, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING — China has vowed to make increased efforts to eliminate poverty, after significant progress has been made in the past five years, an official said on March 7.
China will allocate 106.1 billion yuan ($16.8 billion) in funding for poverty alleviation work in 2018, some 20 billion yuan more than last year, said Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.
China has lifted more than 68 million people out of poverty over the past five years, Liu told a news conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature.
Experience should be accumulated and lesson be drawn in poverty reduction work in order to establish a more sustainable mechanism that can increase safety and reduce corruption in the future, according to Liu.
Since November 2015 when China decided to launched a campaign to eliminate poverty, more than 400 people fulfilled jobs at the cost of their lives.
Meanwhile, over 80,000 people were investigated and punished for misconduct during the poverty elimination campaign, including 450 accountable for fraudulent claims or misappropriation of totally 730 million yuan in an inspection of 28 provinces last year, according to Vice Finance Minister Hu Jinglin.
The country has set 2020 as the target year to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, which requires all citizens to be living above the poverty line — per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan, a standard set in November 2011.
China plans to lift at least 10 million people out of poverty this year, according to the annual government work report made by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5.
There were around 30 million Chinese living below the national poverty line at the end of last year.
To win the fight against poverty, China should carry out the agenda on time, ensure a high quality of targeted work, and maintain continuity of the process, as “relative poverty” will still exist even after the country eliminates “absolute poverty” by 2020, according to Liu.