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Hunan sets ‘targeted, specific’ measures to help poor

Zhao Lei
Updated: Mar 8,2019 2:01 PM     China Daily

Hunan province has established an effective and efficient set of measures for poverty alleviation, according to a top provincial official.

Du Jiahao, Hunan’s Party secretary and head of the provincial legislature, said on March 7 that the provincial government has been sparing no efforts in implementing President Xi Jinping’s instructions on targeted poverty reduction, and has worked out various methods to address poverty issues.

“We always keep Xi’s instructions in mind and regard poverty alleviation as our political obligation,” Du said during a panel discussion of the Hunan delegation to the ongoing second session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing.

In November 2013, Xi — who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission — visited Shibadong village in Hunan province, which was an impoverished community at that time. He called on governments at all levels to use measures that fit local conditions to alleviate poverty.

Du said that since then, Hunan has been sticking to the president’s directive that poverty alleviation policies and measures must be targeted and specific.

He said that the province is focused on a proven approach that encourages and supports impoverished people to tap their local resources and seek opportunities in the market.

Provincial authorities are active in helping unemployed, impoverished people find jobs in other provinces that have a huge demand for workers. Labor-intensive enterprises in certain industries are encouraged to establish factories in poverty-stricken areas.

Local governments in Hunan have also created and maintained many jobs that carry out environmental protection efforts such as forestry preservation and riverside patrols.

As a result of these efforts, Hunan has made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction, he said.

In 2018, the province lifted nearly 1.31 million rural residents out of poverty and removed 2,491 villages from the impoverished areas list. The rate of poverty in Hunan among the general population has also fallen sharply.

Du said the province is determined to eliminate absolute poverty by 2020.

Poverty alleviation is a top priority on Xi’s agenda. The president has visited all of the 14 regions with a high concentration of absolute poverty since he took office seven years ago. He has vowed to eliminate absolute poverty in China by the end of 2020.

In Xi’s annual New Year’s speech over the past several years, he has always mentioned his concerns for those in poverty.

The president has repeatedly asked local governments to carry out specific and targeted measures to help poverty-stricken people. He also requested wealthy provinces to assist less-developed areas by providing financial support and working together to nurture local industries.