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Ningxia vows to fulfill zero-poverty promise despite pandemic

By Jiang Yijing and Gao Wenxuan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-06-08 16:48

"The novel coronavirus outbreak has brought many challenges and difficulties to our poverty elimination program, which could be regarded as an additional test in the fight against poverty," Ma Hancheng, vice-chairman of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region and a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, said.

The widespread travel bans and production stoppages reduced the income of many migrant workers, blocked channels for trade, and slowed down poverty relief programs, which threaten to push many rural residents into poverty, Ma said.

According to him, though the number of migrant workers in Ningxia rose by 7 percent from January to April, a close look shows that those in Guyuan, a southern city in Ningxia, recorded a 7.7 percent drop in terms of income.

"In order to prevent them from falling back into poverty, we have taken several measures," Ma added.

In past decades, Ningxia, located in Northwest China, has built several production lines, selling grass, lamb, vegetables as well as wines to other parts of China, including the far southeastern coastal areas. But transport restrictions to contain the spread of the virus made it difficult to sell products.

To solve this problem, the government put great effort into building and enhancing a trade system integrating online and offline channels. With the assistance of e-commerce, all the products weresold out by the end of April and the income of rural residents increased.

As for the delayed poverty relief projects, Ma introduced that these projects resumed in April and would be fully operational in June. Factories under construction would be completed in September. He said with these measures, Ningxia will make an effort to offset the impact of the pandemic, ensuring people's incomes do not decline while safeguarding the quality of poverty alleviation.

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