Beijing and Hebei agree on three-year poverty relief framework

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The Beijing municipal government signed a framework agreement on continuing poverty alleviation assistance to Hebei province on April 14, and detailed the assistance tasks in the next three years. The city will spend 2.62 billion yuan (US$420 million) on the three-year plan toward poverty alleviation goals by 2020. 

According to authorities, Beijing has been assigned by the central government to give specific assistance to 89 counties in seven provinces, including 23 counties and districts in Hebei province's Zhangjiakou city, Chengde city and Baoding city. 

Based on the framework agreement, Beijing and Hebei governments will focus their efforts on areas of high poverty, injecting more funds, recruiting more talents, and implementing more favorable policies and measures. 

The governments will pay more attention to special groups among the impoverished population, spending over 80 percent of funds on programs for registered poor people. Poverty relief will be primarily provided to people impoverished by illnesses or disabilities and those who can't afford education. Targeted measures will be taken to assist different persons and households based on the approach of classifying the impoverished people into five groups, and specifying the guidelines on strengthening six key poverty alleviation tasks. 

The Beijing government is also aiming to collaborate with various Beijing-based enterprises and social organizations in joint poverty alleviation efforts. 

The agreement set seven tasks as priorities. The first task is to make good use of the funds. Authorities are expected to strengthen financial support to poor areas and set up a mechanism for growing the poverty alleviation funds. 

Second, the governments will provide more assistance in human capital. Government officials from Beijing and Hebei will enhance exchanges with more officials from Beijing dispatched to poor areas to assist or manage specific poverty relief tasks. Technical talents will also be dispatched to provide support in agriculture, education, medical treatment, and volunteer services. The officials and talents will receive relevant training to raise the awareness and practical abilities of helping the poor.

Third, the governments will carry out alleviation work through local businesses. Base on the market-oriented principle, Beijing and Hebei will contribute to the construction of a number of special industry bases in poor areas that local people can engage in, and cultivate a number of local cooperative organizations and leading enterprises that help poor people to operate businesses.

Fourth, the governments will carry out support in employment. Business exchanges and cooperation in employment and entrepreneurship services will be carried out regularly. Integrated post training and short-term skill training will be provided to the local poor people in need. 

Fifth, the governments will pair up each other's districts and counties to facilitate direct assistance in poverty alleviation. The 14 districts in Beijing are expected to partner with the 23 counties and districts in Hebei province to help the latter shake off poverty.

Sixth, the governments will offer targeted assistance to poor people. They will provide targeted medical treatment to help the registered poor people with major diseases. They will support poor villages in environment improvement and construction of agricultural production facilities. They will improve basic medical facilities and support the construction of community-level public cultural projects in poor areas. The governments are also encouraging the integration of poverty relief with ecological protection and restoration.

Seventh, Beijing and Hebei will improve overall planning of poverty alleviation and enhance social mobilization for the next six years. A work platform will be established to encourage various private organizations and citizens to participate in the tasks and offer assistance to poverty relief, and to help people with medical conditions and disabilities, the elderly, and people without sufficient education.  

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