More than 9.6 million people resettled in China's poverty alleviation drive
Updated 14:15, 04-Dec-2020

China relocated over 9.6 million people to complete its poverty alleviation relocation plan during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period, said Zhao Chenxin, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday morning.

About 35,000 centralized resettlement areas – 5,000 urban areas and 30,000 rural sites – were built and about 600 billion yuan ($91.74 billion) was invested in a variety of funds. 

Additionally, more than 6,100 primary and secondary schools and kindergartens, over 12,000 hospitals and community health service centers, some 3,400 elderly service facilities, and at least 40,000 leisure and entertainment venues were newly built or expanded, said Zhao.

"9.6 million poor people have all moved to new homes, of which more than five million have been resettled in urban areas and about 4.6 million have been resettled in rural areas."

By the end of 2019, 9.2 million people living in poverty were relocated and lifted out of poverty. The relocation work has been completed this year for the remaining 400,000 and an assessment is underway over the effectiveness of poverty alleviation, he said.

"The employability of poor people has been significantly improved after their relocation. Relocated families with labor have achieved the employment goal of at least one person, and the income of the relocated people has been significantly improved."

New homes mean new lives for those living in poverty. Meng Yingji is among those relocated to get out of poverty in Libo County, southwest China's Guizhou Province. He looks after a family of six.

"Our previous house was made by dirt. We couldn't earn anything. Our lives have improved here. We were able to get jobs," Meng said. His new home is of a floor area of about 100 square meters. What's more important is that it is way closer for his kids to go to school.

According to the country's official statistics, the per capita net income of poverty-stricken households nationwide has increased from 4,221 yuan ($645.41) in 2016 to 9,313 yuan ($1,424) in 2019, an average annual increase of 30.2 percent.

In order to comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of the relocation work for poverty alleviation, the National Development and Reform Commission organized a comprehensive evaluation and verification in the second half of this year. 

"The acceptance rate of housing quality and safety for the masses reached 100 percent, the improvement rate of children's schooling conditions and medical conditions reached 99 and 99.87 percent separately, and the satisfaction of relocated people reached 100 percent." Zhao added.

(Cen Ziyuan also contributes to the report.)