Photo: China Daily
As the novel coronavirus outbreak abates domestically, poverty relief officials in Central China’s Hubei province pledged on Monday to do their utmost to cut unemployment and help sell farm produce in a bid to end poverty on schedule.
The moves followed authorities' recent decisions to unlock the province, which was sealed off in late January to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Hu Chaowen, director of the provincial Poverty Relief Office, said some 58,000 people still retained the poverty label across the province and provincial authorities would closely monitor the 11 cities and counties that are tasked with helping these people escape poverty before the year's end.
He said the office would aid local factories and cooperatives to resume production, creating much-needed jobs for financially-strapped families who were forced to take unpaid leaves at the height of the outbreak to avoid infections.
The impoverished job seeker is entitled to a 200 yuan ($28) subsidy and employers also will get financial incentives for taking in the jobless, he said.
Some 66,800 farmers have been hired by the government to patrol forestland and some 50,000 "welfare jobs" would be created to give those having difficulties getting work on the job market, he added.
Hu said Hubei would continue to strengthen collaborations with other provinces to share the local workforce and farm produce.
Financial tools also will be employed to help the poor get through this difficult time, including handing out low-interest loans up to 1 million yuan to small startups that could hire more than 10 poor farmers and extending farmers' loan payments, he said.
They also would help operations resume at water and housing projects targeting poor populations and monitor their progress to ensure they finish on schedule.