BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- China has made great progress in its poverty alleviation work, an official said at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office Tuesday.
"The number of people living below the poverty line in China has been reduced by an average of 13 million each year since 2012," said Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.
"It is an unprecedented achievement," said Liu.
The country lifted 6.39 million people out of poverty annually in the last fifteen years of last century since it launched large scale poverty relief programs in 1986.
During the first decade of this century, the population living below the poverty line decreased by an annual average of 6.73 million, according to Liu.
Priorities such as targeted poverty alleviation have also gained ground. But despite progress, major difficulties still face people living in deep poverty, Liu said.
Prominent problems such as poverty caused by illness still need to be tackled, he added.