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Tailor-made solutions have poverty alleviation sewn up

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-23 07:32

Obstacles remain

China's western areas have achieved the best results in poverty alleviation, the number of impoverished people has been halved in five years, but the West and a number of areas with large ethnic populations-including the Tibet autonomous region and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region-remain the biggest obstacles to achieving the goal of lifting the remaining 43.36 million people out of poverty on schedule.

At present, about 39 percent of the 281,800 people in Pishan county, Hotan prefecture, southern Xinjiang, live below the poverty line.

The county, designated a place of "extreme poverty" lies next to the Taklimakan Desert, the largest arid area in the country, and about 99 percent of its population hails from ethnic groups, including Uygurs, Tajiks and Kyrgyzs.

"Although reaching the poverty relief target is extremely challenging as a result of the historical, social and environmental factors in the county, there is no excuse for us not achieving the goal along with the rest of the country," said Ahmet Memet, Party chief of Pishan who is also a delegate at the congress, on Thursday.

After undertaking detailed analysis of the causes of poverty by visiting every impoverished household, the county authorities decided to help local people to raise the quality and output of agricultural produce, such as walnuts and dates, and improve water conservation facilities.

People living in harsh environments are also offered the opportunity to relocate.

"We fully respect their choices and make sure those who are willing to move can find new careers," said Ahmet Memet.

He added that more than 57,740 people were lifted out poverty in Pishan between 2012 and last year.

Future problems

However, despite the progress made, the task is likely to become more difficult across the country.

"It will be more costly and difficult to move forward," said Liu, from the State Council Leading Group Office.

He added that a small number of officials in the worst-affected areas had succumbed to the pressure and falsified some statistics relating to the progress of poverty alleviation programs.

Speaking in June, Xi said the country will adopt a strict appraisal system for poverty alleviation measures, and officials who forge statistics or misuse funds intended for poverty relief will be severely punished.

He added that no matter how much assistance is provided, it won't make a difference if people lack motivation and are not willing to lift themselves out of poverty. "Leaning against the wall and sunbathing while waiting for the good life to be delivered is unacceptable," he said.

When he delivered his report on Wednesday, Xi stressed the role education plays in the eradication of poverty.

"We will pay particular attention to helping people gain greater confidence in their ability to lift themselves out of poverty and ensure that they have access to the education they need to do so," he said.

Back in Horqin Right Wing Middle Banner, Mu has become a trainer at the embroidery workshop, earning an extra 100 yuan a day by teaching other women.

"In addition to making more money, I have become more confident. I believe I can tackle more difficult patterns now," she said, with an optimistic smile.

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