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Gov't to Help 148,000 Villages Out of Poverty in 5 Years
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China plans to help 148,000 villages out of poverty over the next five years, said Liu Jian, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development efforts.

Addressing the Poverty Reduction Seminar for Developing Countries at Ministerial Level, Liu said the Chinese government will strengthen infrastructure and social services -- and increase villager income -- in the nation's poorest villages, where 80 percent of the poor population live.

According to statistics, 2.365 million people in China still don't have enough food and clothing. And 4.067 million people do not have regular supplies of food and clothing.

The Chinese government will also train laborers in poor areas and promote non-farming employment, Liu said.

Ten percent of the Government's Favor Project financial poverty reduction fund will be used for training, with the goal of developing a laborer from each household.

The government will also encourage flagship enterprises to promote reform of agricultural structures in poor areas and increase farmers' income, Liu said.

And 260 poverty reduction flagship enterprises identified by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development will help 12 million poor people.

Liu stressed the Chinese government will continue to make poverty reduction a priority, develop policies for needy people, call on society as a whole to contribute to poverty reduction and promote balanced development of impoverished areas between natural and human resources.

The seminar, hosted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and the Ministry of Commerce, attracted 20 government officials from poverty reduction departments in 16 countries, as well as officials from the Chinese government, the UN organizations and foreign embassies to China.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2006)

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