BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- China's determination to achieve the goal of poverty elimination remains unwavering despite the impact from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.
About 3 million more migrant workers from the poverty-stricken areas have returned to their jobs last week, said Liu. He added that one-third of the poverty-relief projects had resumed operation as of March 6, and resumption will be accelerated.
The country's poverty alleviation tasks are near completion, as the number of impoverished people fell to 5.51 million at the end of 2019 from 98.99 million at the end of 2012, and the number of poverty-stricken counties fell to 52 in 2020.
Guidance on establishing the poverty-relief supervision and aid mechanism will be released soon to prevent people from returning to poverty after being lifted out of it, according to Liu.
Measures should be taken to ensure the quality of compulsory education as well as develop vocational, higher and pre-school education in impoverished areas to eliminate poverty from the roots, he said.
Efforts to relieve poverty will not be stopped, even after absolute poverty is eradicated, said Liu, stressing that the country would then bridge the development gap and realize common prosperity.
Liu also noted that a census targeting poor people will be launched this year to ensure the data authenticity and accuracy of the achievements of the poverty alleviation tasks.
He also praised the help from Hong Kong in the fight against poverty. Nanjiang county in southwestern China's Sichuan province has lifted all of the poor populations out of poverty last year, with parts of the contributions made by the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and all walks of life in Hong Kong.