Poverty relief plan unveiled for Xinjiang

Poverty relief plan unveiled for Xinjiang

SHANGHAI – Reuters
Poverty relief plan unveiled for Xinjiang

China’s northwestern Xinjiang is planning a poverty relief scheme targeting the restive region’s 22 poorest counties, the official Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Xinjiang, a huge region bordering Central Asia, has long been a security focus for Beijing, which has led a massive security clamp down there after deadly bouts of ethnic violence it blames on local Uighur extremists.

The three-year poverty relief plan would target counties in the Xinjiang prefectures of Kashgar, Hotan, Kizilsu and Aksu, and would look to lift 400,000 local people out of poverty this year, the state news agency reported.

It would see officials sent to 192 areas in the counties until 2020, by when the regional government aims to have found employment for 100,00 destitute people in the four prefectures, Xinhua said.

Xinhua did not give an amount that would be spent on the drive, but said the regional government had been allocated 6.1 billion yuan ($961.57 million) in anti-poverty funds last year, of which 80 percent had gone to these four prefectures.

The poverty-reduction drive is part of a broader push by China’s ruling Communist Party to tackle deep-rooted rural poverty and to raise the annual income of residents above the official poverty line of 2,300 yuan ($362) by 2020.

China’s gross domestic product per person is $8,123 according to the World Bank.