Another 8 provinces and municipality in China have lifted all of their impoverished counties out of poverty by the end of February this year, following Tibet Autonomous Region that removed its last impoverished areas from the poverty list last December, according to statistics released by the Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development under China’s State Council.
The 8 provinces and municipality include Hebei, Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hunan, Hainan, Chongqing and Shaanxi.
Among the impoverished counties applying to quit the poverty list in 2019, 165 from Hebei, Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hunan, Hainan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Tibet Autonomous Region, Shaanxi and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have passed assessments and officially bid farewell to poverty by February.
For counties in central China to move off the poverty list, they must keep their incidence of poverty below 2 percent, and those in the western region must make it less than 3 percent.
After eradicating poverty in 53 impoverished counties, Henan province has lowered its poverty incidence from 8.79 percent in 2013 to 0.41 percent at present. A total of more than 6.51 million impoverished rural residents, as well as 9,484 impoverished counties in the province have shaken off the “poor” label.
In today’s Shanxi province, regional poverty is generally eliminated as 58 impoverished counties and districts have shaken off poverty after years of arduous efforts. It is hard to imagine that 6 years ago, the province was home to 7,993 registered impoverished villages and an impoverished population of 3.29 million with a poverty incidence of 13.6 percent.
China must work even harder to ensure the final victory over poverty this year, given the impact from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
A news conference held by south China’s Hainan province on Feb. 29 announced that the city of Wuzhishan, Lingao county and Baisha Li Autonomous County in the province have been lifted out of poverty. Meanwhile, the three places were also requested to actively respond to the risks and challenges of the COVID-19 and take effective measures to prevent the reoccurrence of poverty, so as to ensure solid outcomes of poverty alleviation.
At a video conference held on Feb. 26, Heilongjiang also called for stronger alert for risks and potential crisis to overcome the impacts from the epidemic and prevent reoccurrence of poverty caused by the epidemic or any other factors.
The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development stressed that despite eradication of poverty in these counties, the country still needs to carry on high-standard and ceaseless poverty alleviation efforts for the remaining impoverished groups.
Hebei, Shanxi, Hainan and other provinces all requested that relevant authorities continue rendering support, as well as strictly follow Chinese President Xi Jinping’s instruction that Party and government leadership should remain stable with officials aware that they still bear responsibility, major poverty alleviation policies should remain in force so that they are followed through with, poverty alleviation teams should remain in place so that they continue to provide assistance, and oversight should be prioritized to prevent people from slipping back into poverty..
“At present, Henan still has 350,000 impoverished people and 52 impoverished villages. We will by no means slacken our efforts until our mission is accomplished,” said an official with the Poverty Alleviation and Development Office of Henan province.
Workers make pancakes at a workshop in Shangfozhu village, Shuanghou township, Yinan county of Linyi, east China’s Shandong province. The workshop is designed to help local people get rid of poverty by industry, March 2. (Photo by Du Yubao, People’s Daily Online)