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Xi: Campaign against poverty is ‘toughest battle’
October 9, 2017, 7:39 am

China aims to significantly reduce poverty by 2020 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called the campaign against poverty the “toughest of all battles” and that the country should exert all efforts to eradicate it.

His statement comes ahead of the UN earmarked International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17.

Two weeks ago, Beijing upgraded a new mechanism to help local governments and municipalities target poverty reduction through a 100-point assessment system that measures the efficacy of funds allocated to this pursuit.

How effective the funds have been will be marked out of 62 points; fund allocation is 10 points; supervision of the funds is 20 points and the remaining 8 points covers capital input.

Beijing wants local governments to reach 90 points or more in the new assessment mechanism. Below 60 is considered a failed approach.

The latest success story in the campaign against poverty is east China’s Jiangxi Province where the capital Jinggangshan has now been officially declassified as an impoverished area.

Through a number of local programs such as poverty relief projects and government assistance to start businesses, boosting rural infrastructure and creating employment opportunities for the less privileged, Jinggangshan managed to reduce the number of people living under the poverty line to just 1.6 per cent of the population.

The countrywide standard is two per cent.

According to official figures, there are 55 million people currently living in poverty.

One of the cornerstones of the current National People’s Congress 13th five-year plan is that it aims to significantly reduce poverty by 2020.

Elsewhere in Hunan province, for example, the local government has pledged to repeat its fund allocation from 2016, which helped lift more than a million people out of poverty.

Officials in Hunan, which is located in central China, say they want to eradicate poverty completely by 2019, bringing a total of five million out of poverty since 2014.

The Hunan provincial initiative, mimicked in other provinces such as east China’s Shandong and the southwest’s Sichuan, falls in tandem with the strategies of the National People’s Congress 13th five-year plan.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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