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China to win battle against poverty as scheduled despite epidemic

Updated: May 19,2020 07:51 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China is capable of achieving the goal of poverty elimination this year as scheduled despite adverse impact by the COVID-19 epidemic, an official said on May 18.

Although the epidemic brings new challenges, China's battle against poverty has made positive progress with common efforts, said Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

By the end of April 30, around 97 percent of leading poverty alleviation enterprises and workshops had resumed production, while 82 percent of poverty-relief projects had restarted, said Liu.

China has bolstered policy support to help migrant workers stranded at home amid the epidemic obtain employment locally, as part of its efforts to prevent people from falling back into poverty, he said.

The country's poverty alleviation tasks are near completion, as the number of impoverished people fell to 5.51 million at the end of 2019 from 98.99 million at the end of 2012, and the number of poverty-stricken counties fell to 52 in 2020.

Liu noted that China will then speed up efforts in lifting the 52 poor counties and 1,113 villages out of poverty, focusing on satisfying the needs of impoverished populations in terms of compulsory education, basic medical care, safe housing and drinking water.