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China moves to mitigate COVID-19 impact on poverty relief

China is trying to blunt the impact of the novel coronavirus on its anti-poverty drive and vowing to realize the poverty-alleviation target at the end of the year, an official said Wednesday.

The country is actively addressing the challenges brought by the epidemic on poverty alleviation, with central authorities overseeing local poverty relief progress, said Wang Chunyan, an official with the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, at a press conference.

The epidemic has prevented poor workers from going out to earn income, hindered farmers’ production and delayed many poverty relief projects, Wang noted.

To mitigate the impact, the country has mobilized companies and government departments to purchase agricultural products from poor areas, a win-win move as it increased the income of the impoverished while at the same time helped meet the demand of urban households, Wang said.

The central authorities will continue to oversee the poverty relief work in 52 poor counties, focusing on ensuring safe drinking water, housing and education for the poor as well as implementing relocation programs, Wang said.

China has targeted eradicating absolute poverty in 2020. By the end of last year, there were still over 5.5 million people living under the poverty line across the country.

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