By the end of this year, the 19 impoverished households, most of whom include people with physical or mental disabilities, in a remote village in northwest China, will be lifted out of poverty thanks to government assistance. [Special coverage]
Through heavy investment in infrastructure, financial support for animal husbandry and agriculture, some 177 families, or about one quarter of the Zengjipan village in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, have already been lifted above the poverty line, said Zhu Yuguo, a delegate to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and village Party chief.
The ongoing congress has reaffirmed the nation's target to eliminate poverty in 2020 to achieve its goal of a moderately prosperous society. At the end of last year, China had 43 million impoverished people living in rural areas, after 55 million people were lifted above the poverty line from 2012 to 2016.
Despite difficulties, a number of congress delegates from impoverished areas across the country have expressed their confidence in accomplishing the target.
"With favorable Party and local government policies, our villagers have worked hard and now have much improved lives," said Zhu. "The residents sincerely thank the Party for the great changes over the past few years."
Zhu said that previously the village had rough roads, no nearby drinking water sources, suffered frequent droughts and villagers were very poor.
Now, residents have new homes, paved roads, tap water, community centers and money in their pockets. The per capita income reached 8,200 yuan (1,240 U.S. dollars) last year, compared with just 2,400 yuan in 2010.
"It's encouraging that the Party has a consistent policy to tackle poverty. Some 500,000 people are still living in poverty in my city," said Liu Xuerong, Party chief of Huanggang City in Hubei Province and delegate to the congress.
This year, nearly 180,000 people are expected to be lifted out of poverty in Huanggang.
"Financial assistance plays a crucial role," Liu said. By the end of September, the city's outstanding loans for poverty relief increased by nearly 40 percent year on year to 16.3 billion yuan. Special insurance has been made available for farmers who make a living by raising goats or other livestock, or growing crops such as tea, ginger or Chinese yams.
"Eliminating poverty is a vital step for the country to achieve socialist modernization. In Huanggang, we have confidence in this," Liu said.
Poverty alleviation efforts will continue the momentum in Tibet Autonomous Region to ensure the region does not fall behind in the national endeavor to build a moderately prosperous society, said Norbu Dondrup, vice chairman of the regional government and delegate to the CPC congress.
At the end of 2016, Tibet had 442,000 people living below the national poverty line out of a total population of about 3.2 million.
The government will help herders and farmers develop businesses. Children from poor families will receive subsidized college education, and the government will help young graduates find jobs and start businesses so they can support their families, according to the delegate.
"Grassroots Party organizations must be strengthened to act as the backbone for poverty reduction," said Wang Liangcheng, a congress delegate and first secretary of the Party branch in Limin Village in southwest China's Sichuan Province. Wang, deputy head of the county pricing supervision bureau, was sent to the village to help with poverty relief efforts in 2015.
He has helped the village plant crops and establish cooperatives to increase farmers' incomes. Currently, 103 previously poor families in the village have moved into new houses and now live above the poverty line.
The number of impoverished people in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region had dropped from 2.6 million in 2013 to 1.2 million by the end of 2016.
"We have the confidence and the methods to lift the remaining impoverished households out of poverty by 2020," said Niu Xuexing, Party chief of Hotan Prefecture, in southern Xinjiang and delegate to the congress.