Ambassador of Suriname commends China’s efforts on poverty relief despite COVID-19 challenge

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail by Wang Donghai, Xu Lin and An Yu, 06 15, 2020

Patty Chen, ambassador of the Republic of Suriname to China, recently gave a written interview with about China's poverty relief efforts under the COVID-19 epidemic. She commends the Chinese government for all the achievements it has made in poverty reduction. She believes China’s energy to eliminate absolute poverty is still there despite the COVID-19 challenge.


Patty Chen, ambassador of the Republic of Suriname to China China is expected to eliminate absolute poverty this year. What is your comment on China's efforts in poverty reduction?

Patty Chen: Based on the report on the implementation of the 2019 plan for National Economic and Social Development and on the 2020 draft plan for National, Economic and Social Development, it is clear that throughout 2019 China steadily made progress in poverty alleviation. This was done by among others development of local industries, ensuring adequate food and clothing and access to education, basic medical services and safe housing for poor rural populations in areas of extreme poverty. There was also a program executed in which access to renovation schemes and resettlement policies aimed at elimination of poor living and housing conditions. At the closure of the year 2019 roughly 97 percent of poor counties were taken off the poverty list, so regional poverty was eradicated on a wider scale.
I can surely commend the Chinese government with the aforementioned positive developments in efforts on poverty relief. When it comes to the expectations for this year, I belief that the energy to continue to eliminate absolute poverty is still there, bearing in mind the challenge to deal with the impact of the unforeseen COVID-19 Pandemic and its adverse effects on China’s efforts in poverty reduction. In your opinion, what impact will the COVID-19 pandemic bring to China's goal of eradicating extreme poverty by the end of 2020? What are your suggestions?

Patty Chen: COVID-19 Pandemic is posing a worldwide economic challenge for many countries including China, making it harder to achieve countrywide poverty alleviation. Therefore an all-out effort was made by the Chinese government to control the epidemic and to treat patients. The impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on China’s goal of eradication of extreme poverty by the end of 2020 brings about adverse effects such as job losses, given the temporary closures of many small businesses such as restaurants, shops, markets, tourist attractions and postponement of events given the need to prevent people congregating in large groups.

In my opinion, China’s people-centered approach in terms of economic and social development made sure that during lockdown among others groceries and supermarkets were kept open, so that people could still have sound access to basic goods and necessities to prevent shortages in their daily supplies. Food security and market supply are vital for the economy.

This is in line with the main objective of giving top priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards, winning the battle against poverty and working to achieve the objectives and tasks for moderate prosperity. China has not set a quantified target for economic growth this year in order to be able to deal with the main problems and difficulties it is faced with presently. Hence China proves to be a positive trend setter in the handling of adverse effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

China should continue to keep its focus on the people-centered approach while paving the way for further national economic growth. What are your suggestions on furthering international cooperation in poverty reduction?

Patty Chen: My suggestions on furthering international cooperation in poverty reduction are to continue along the lines of non-interference in internal affairs while maintaining the goal of a shared future for humankind. Assistance in capacity building to countries in developing their policies towards poverty reduction is an important instrument to share the best practices but also exchange of ideas and knowledge in this field.

Putting in place specially catered possibilities for debt relief or debt rescheduling programs whereby timely evaluation and review thereof should be key in poverty reduction.

Countries should be able to learn to put in place their national financial reserves to overcome unexpected financial hardship.


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