April 1, 2018 / 8:18 AM / a year ago

China policy bank plans to lend $64 billion for poverty relief projects in 2018: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - China Development Bank (CDB) plans to lend 400 billion yuan ($63.77 billion) this year to support poverty relief projects, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.

CDB, a major policy bank, will fund projects such as infrastructure construction, relocation of poor residents, local industries development, health-care and education in poverty-stricken areas, Xinhua said.

Beijing has identified poverty as one of its “three critical battles,” alongside risk prevention and pollution, which Premier Li Keqiang said in his March work report to the parliament are key for the building of a “moderately prosperous society in all respects.”

China is aiming to reduce the number of poor in rural areas by over 10 million in 2018, including 2.8 million people who will be relocated from “inhospitable areas.” The government has said it aims to eliminate poverty by 2020.

More than 68.5 million rural people were lifted out of poverty in China between the end of 2012 and the end of 2017, Xinhua said, bringing down the national poverty rate from 10.2 percent to 3.1 percent.

Reporting by Se Young Lee and Lusha Zhang; Editing by Kim Coghill

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