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Down-to-earth efforts called key to reaching poverty relief goal

By ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-01 06:03

China can fulfill its goal of eradicating poverty by 2020 so long as governments make efforts based on reality and with a down-to-earth attitude, according to a meeting on Friday chaired by President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The nationwide poverty relief work faces many challenges, such as a lack of supervision over the use of funds and precision measures that target the neediest people, according to the meeting.

The meeting, held by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, heard briefings on the assessment of poverty relief efforts by provincial-level Party committees and governments last year.

Lifting every citizen out of poverty has been put high on the central government's agenda.

More than 55 million people were lifted out of poverty from 2013 to 2016.

As a result, the country's poverty rate has dropped from 10.2 percent at the end of 2012 to 4.5 percent at the end of last year. It is estimated that more than 40 million people still live in poverty.

A person with annual income of less than 2,855 yuan ($414), or $1.13 a day, was considered living below the poverty line in China in 2015. That compares with the international poverty line of $1.90 per day, which uses purchasing power parity exchange rates.

On Feb 22, Xi underscored the importance of precision efforts in the battle against poverty during a study session held by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

In the coming years, China's poverty relief work "faces a daunting task" as "poverty alleviation is getting more difficult as it is coming to an end", Xi said at the study session.

On Friday, the meeting also put forward new requirements for the nationwide relief effort, including the strategy of targeted poverty alleviation with greater precision.

Efforts must be made to establish files on the situation of each impoverished person, and policies should be drafted to effectively address the causes of poverty, according to the meeting. Additionally, extraordinary measures should be taken to solve the most serious problems, it was decided.

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