Guizhou aims to relocate its poor residents

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Guizhou province plans to relocate 670,000 people from poverty-stricken and barren regions this year, bringing the total of relocated people to 1.88 million in four years, the most in the country, the provincial government said.

Zhang Yingrong of Danzhai county, Guizhou province, carries newly purchased furniture on Sunday to his new home. He was relocated recently. [Photo/China Daily]

This year, 1.68 million people nationwide are scheduled to be relocated under the 13th Five-Year Plan on Relocation for Poverty Alleviation (2016-20), and 40 percent will be in Guizhou.

Governor Shen Yiqin told the provincial people's congress on Sunday that it would not be an easy job, with the relocations being equivalent to moving 2,000-plus residents every day in the mountainous province.

It also requires massive support policies to serve the relocated residents, including employment and education, which are also challenging, Shen said, adding that the measures to alleviate poverty, including relocation, are "the top priority and the greatest task" this year.

Guizhou will provide 160,000 houses for relocated residents this year, Shen said, adding that more than 17 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) is scheduled to support the process.

Guizhou has aimed high in fighting poverty in a bid to reach the core national goal of lifting all people out of poverty by 2020. In 2019, a total of 1.1 million residents are expected to escape poverty, the governor added.

"We will take multiple measures to help relocated residents get jobs or start businesses, and make sure at least one member of the family has a stable income," she said.

Gao Fen, a deputy to the provincial people's congress and head of the financial department of Shiqian county, Tongren - where more than 700 residents moved in 2018 - said, "Relocation is a major step to improve the lives of residents in mountainous villages, providing them with new houses and better services."

The county has built kindergartens and primary schools near residential communities, the county government said, and more service centers are expected soon.

Wang Aduo, another legislator, said that cultural traditions for ethic minorities also need protection "in a bid to better preserve their legacy, and to maintain their lifestyle in new places".

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