Indexes show cemented efforts on poverty relief despite epidemic, flood
The number of rural workers finding jobs in urban areas－a significant bench mark tracking rural income－reached 28.3 million by the end of June, outnumbering the tally from last year, according to poverty relief authorities.
In addition, the projects aimed at promoting rural access to safe drinking water and housing－two key indexes tied to poverty reduction efforts－have almost been completed, the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development said on Tuesday on its website.
The poverty relief office said about 2.81 million of the employed workers were from the 52 counties still labeled as poverty-stricken, up 10.6 percent of the 2019 level.
The developments have cemented success for China's sweeping campaign to end domestic poverty before 2021 despite the impact of the earlier COVID-19 outbreak and the more recent floods wreaking havoc in southern provinces.
Migrant workers contribute two-thirds of many rural families' earnings, poverty relief officials have said.
Widespread travel bans and production stoppages triggered by the novel coronavirus outbreak earlier this year left many migrant workers without income and threatened to push many rural residents into poverty.
The floods caused by heavy rains in regions south of the Yangtze River have ruined local businesses and left many people homeless.
To pull vulnerable families through the difficulties, the central authorities expanded the coverage of State benefits and other relief packages and introduced programs to boost employment.
The office said more than 4.33 million rural poor were employed by welfare jobs in the middle and western parts of the country. Such jobs were created to provide basic income for the jobless in the countryside.
Authorities gave early approval to the reopening of "poverty relief businesses and workshops", which employ a large percentage of impoverished migrant workers. More than 28,000 such businesses and 30,000 workshops have resumed work, the office said.
Meanwhile, nine eastern provinces have bought farm products worth more than 22 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) from impoverished areas since February as part of a broader effort to help western regions eliminate poverty through the promotion of rural specialties, the office said.
The central authorities also ordered better monitoring of vulnerable families affected by the geological disasters in China's south.
The poverty alleviation office said they have rolled out assistance measures to help rural families impoverished due to the floods, and the situation was detected only in a small number of regions.
The elimination of absolute poverty nationwide is the basic requirement for establishing the politically important "moderately prosperous society in all aspects", known as Xiaokang Shehui.