NPC spokesman confident poverty elimination target will be met

( Updated : 2020-05-22

Actions by Chinese authorities to boost employment and lift demand for farm produce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic led the spokesman for this month's annual meeting of the country's top legislature to express confidence on May 21 that domestic poverty can be stamped out by end of this year.

Zhang Yesui, the spokesman for the third session of the 13th National People's Congress, acknowledged that the pandemic has had an impact on China's economic outlook and posed new challenges to poverty relief efforts. Earlier this year, the outbreak prevented many migrant workers from reaching urban jobs and forced factories that employ large numbers of formerly impoverished people to halt production.

The outbreak had also disrupted the work of poverty relief teams sent to oversee grassroots progress, Zhang told a news conference in Beijing.

To offset the impact, Zhang said central authorities have rolled out many policies to support the rural poor, including those aimed at helping rural workers find jobs, promoting sales of farm produce, helping poverty relief projects restart, and supporting the vulnerable.

Zhang said the elimination of domestic poverty will be a national and global milestone, and with supportive measures expected to minimize the impact of COVID-19, the poverty reduction target will surely be met.

The NPC and its standing committee will continue to give priority to poverty-related legislative and supervisory work, and will fully leverage the role of lawmakers at all levels to contribute to the antipoverty drive, he added.