Zero tolerance for those who undermine poverty alleviation

Wang Yong
Some officials have reportedly given public-welfare jobs meant for the poor to friends and relatives. Such behavior has no place in China's efforts to end poverty.
Wang Yong
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As China endeavors to eliminate poverty by next year, some local officials have sapped public confidence by misappropriating government fund for the poor to grease the palms of their relatives or acquaintances.

People’s Daily reported on Sunday that some jobs meant to help the poor have been usurped by the relatives of some local officials. For example, the paper pointed out, such officials have allocated rare job opportunities to their children who study or work outside their hometowns. As a result, the needy have been denied a chance to rise above poverty, while those employed through nepotism hardly fulfil their job responsibilities at all – they get paid anyway for doing nothing or doing less than required.

The government has financed such public-welfare jobs as community security guards, parking assistants and aids for the elderly. These jobs are designed to tilt toward those in dire need for at least subsistence, such as the handicapped or those laid off at an advanced age. According to People’s Daily, a woman named Chen Shufang from rural Shandong Province now gets a monthly salary of 700 yuan (US$100) working as a caregiver for three elderly villagers. This job helps her shrug off poverty without having to leave her village.

Chen is just one of the more than 10 million people whom China vows to lift out of poverty this year. Liu Yongfu, head of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, said on Sunday that more than 95 percent of those in poverty will have bid farewell to their poor life by the end of this year, which is an arduous task indeed.

No one is to be left behind in their hope for a better life, and that calls for zero tolerance of any act which deprives the poor of their access to jobs the government has deliberately created for them – and them only.

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