Pairing-up program reduces poverty in remote Ningxia
Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region achieves remarkable progress in poverty alleviation with the help of East China's Fujian province. [Photo/nx.gov.cn]
The pairing-up program between East China's Fujian province and Ningxia Hui autonomous region has achieved remarkable progress since it was launched in 1996.
Statistics show that a total of 937,000 people below the poverty line in Ningxia have been lifted out of poverty since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012. The poverty rate has dropped from 22.9 percent in 2012 to 0.47 percent in 2019, and the per capita disposable income in Ningxia's poor areas rose from 4,856 yuan ($692.47) to 10,415 yuan.
Over the past 24 years, Fujian has helped Ningxia pave 385 kilometers of highway, dug 15,000 wells, built 229,000 mu (15266.67 hectares) of terraced fields, and renovated more than 2,000 dilapidated rural houses.
A large number of ecological towns and demonstration villages have been built, and a significant amount of local infrastructure has been constructed, including 259 schools and 349 medical institutions, which has benefited nearly 600,000 poor individuals in Ningxia and greatly improved working and living conditions.
Statistics show that Fujian has injected 3.044 billion yuan into poverty-relief work in Ningxia since 1996, including 1.93 billion yuan from the provincial-level financial sector and 711 million yuan from Fujian cities, counties and districts which have paired up with Ningxia.
Fujian has adopted innovative ideas to help local people improve their capacity for self-development, and carried out an array of exchange activities related to talent training and economic and trade cooperation to speed up the poverty alleviation process in Ningxia.
In addition, the two sides have put more emphasis on development-oriented poverty alleviation in Ningxia by promoting the region's characteristic industries, such as potatoes and juncao (literally meaning fungus grass). Currently, Ningxia houses more than 5,700 Fujian-based companies, and over 80,000 workers in the region come from Fujian.
Since the COVID-19 epidemic began, the Fujian government has launched a series of programs to boost the consumption of agricultural products from poor areas in Ningxia and Gansu, including e-commerce poverty-alleviation projects and livestreaming, which have generated a total sales volume of 757 million yuan and benefited 37,897 impoverished individuals.