China / Society

Nation aims to lift 10 million rural Chinese out of poverty this year

By Zhang Yi ( Updated: 2014-10-14 19:16

China vows to reduce the number of rural people in poverty by 10 million this year, on the eve of China Poverty Alleviation Day.

Zheng Wenkai, vice-minister of an office for poverty alleviation and development under China's State Council, said on Tuesday that China achieved great success in helping nearly 40 million poor rural residents overcome poverty last year. That is based on China's poverty line of 2,300 yuan for rural per-capita annual income (about $1 a day).

"However, poverty is still a salient problem in China," he said, adding that 82 million people are still trapped in poverty according to China's poverty line, and 200 million according to the World Bank standard of $1.25 a day. The number of poverty-stricken people account for 15 percent of the total population in China, by the international standard.

Geographically, 120,000 villages remain stricken with poverty. Poor people are still beset by the unavailability of water, roads, electricity, school and healthcare.

Zheng said there is urgent need to improve the mechanism of poverty alleviation to deter flawed management, poorly executed policy and misconduct in local use of funds to fight poverty.

He said the office will focus on lifting 10 million people out of poverty by sending resident assistance teams to all poor villages, building up mechanisms for three major poverty alleviation programs, reforming performance evaluation mechanisms and encouraging wider social participation.

The State Council recently approved a China Poverty Alleviation Day, to be held each year on Oct 17.

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