Poverty elimination amid coronavirus outbreak: how to overcome imminent challenges (3)
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China will maintain its economic and social progress while advancing epidemic control. Coordinated efforts should be made in poverty reduction and epidemic prevention and control, said the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development in a circular.


File photo: VCG

First, local authorities shall solve difficulties that hinder migrant workers returning to work amid the novel coronavirus outbreak by encouraging flexible working hours to avoid any possible coronavirus infections and prioritizing the employment of low-income migrant workers. Efforts shall be made to strengthen employment in local poverty alleviation workshops and public welfare projects, said the circular.

Secondly, China will step up efforts to ensure development and sales of overstocked products. According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, local governments will promote the selling of agricultural products by poor areas by expanding sales opportunities for them and smoothing out logistics, while enhancing online sales.

Thirdly, local governments shall resume production in the poverty alleviation sector. Poverty alleviation projects that meet epidemic prevention conditions shall resume production in time. Those that are not yet ready will aim to prepare equipment, personnel and raw materials.

The steps of poverty alleviation must not be halted at this critical moment when Chinese people are fighting against the epidemic.

What other measures need to be adopted to win the battles against poverty and the epidemic?

Ye Xingqing, Director of the Research Department of Rural Economy, Development Research Center of the State Council, said that areas where the epidemic has had a mild influence and non-endemic areas shall resume normal operation of public transport and ensure the smooth flow of agricultural production materials and agricultural products. 

People who have been under stringent protective measures can now go back to work or return to cities in a timely fashion.

China will further optimize the targeted poverty reduction policy in response to the impact of the epidemic, said Tang.

It is time to increase cross-docking efforts and enhance hoisting facilities and cold-chain logistics services to solve the problem of over docked agricultural products. More jobs and public welfare posts shall be open to poor famers, allowing them to earn more through employment rather than welfare assistance, Tang said.

(Compiled by Ryan Yaoran Yu)