SCIO briefing on securing a decisive victory in poverty alleviation

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Kyodo News:

What are the current standards for poverty alleviation? For example, what is the standard for annual income? And, will those standards be adjusted this year? Thank you. 

Liu Yongfu:

The standards that China is using in poverty alleviation are quite comprehensive and cover three main aspects. First is income. The national poverty line is set at the per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan ($328) at constant price of 2011. According to the price index and other considerations, the actual poverty line reached 3,218 yuan by the end of 2019, and we plan to raise it to around 4,000 yuan this year. However, I would like to share some additional information with you. According to registration data, the per capita annual income of those who have been lifted out of poverty reaches over 9,000 yuan, and that of those still in poverty is more than 6,000 yuan. Income serves as a fundamental standard, but not the only one, as we still have the standards of "two no-worries" and "three guarantees."

Second is "two no-worries." This refers to ensuring that those who used to live in poverty no longer have to worry about food or clothing. We have succeeded in this case. Third is "three guarantees." This refers to the goal of guaranteeing compulsory education, basic medical services and housing security. Some children at the compulsory education stage have dropped out of school, but the number is very small. Regarding basic medical services, we have built a large number of hospitals, health centers and clinics in counties, townships and villages, so as to ensure that all villages have clinics and rural doctors and that impoverished people have access to medical services. We have also established a basic health insurance system, serious disease insurance system and medical assistance system. Moreover, the social security network for medical insurance has also been established. Consequently, we can provide convenient medical services and ensure access to basic health care for impoverished people. In terms of housing security, we have provided safe housing for over eight million poverty-stricken households over the past few years, and we are working hard to provide more. Moreover, ensuring access to safe drinking water is also a priority. According to our monthly statistics, there are approximately 150,000 people nationwide who do not have access to compulsory education, basic medical services, housing security or safe drinking water. Of course, the number may vary from time to time due to different conditions. For example, different seasons or construction of projects can all lead to shortage of drinking water. However, we will ensure that these problems can be spotted and fixed in a timely way. Moreover, the number of children who drop out of school also varies frequently due to multiple uncertainties, such as parents going to other places for work, their difficulties in getting to school or their reluctance to go to school, which in particular, requires our repeated persuasions. In conclusion, the standards of "one income," "two no-worries" and "three guarantees" are our comprehensive standards for poverty alleviation.  

Despite the impact of the epidemic this year, our basic standards for poverty alleviation will remain unchanged. We will not lower or raise them and will adhere to the standards unswervingly. Thank you.

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