On February 28, the 2020 Inter-Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Alleviation in West Yunnan and the MOE Conference on Poverty Alleviation were held via video conference, aimed at deploying measures toward the final victory over poverty. The main venue of the conference was set at the Ministry of Education (MOE) with other venues placed at 22 ministries, the Yunnan provincial government and 10 city-level governments in the province, and 75 universities directly under the remit of the MOE. Minister of Education Chen Baosheng and Governor of Yunnan province Ruan Chengfa delivered speeches from different venues. Vice Minister of Education Sun Yao and Vice Governor of Yunnan Chen Shun also participated in the conference.
Chen applauded the significant progress made in poverty relief in the west of Yunnan and poverty alleviation through education in the whole country over the past year as a result of targeted cross-sectoral efforts. He stressed that, facing new challenges brought by the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak, coordination between poverty eradication and virus prevention was essential to minimize the impact of the outbreak. He further proposed three actions: first, win the battle against poverty in the west of Yunnan by unravelling the toughest problems that remained in poverty eradication and ensuring basic living standards for impoverished people with special difficulties; second, ensure compulsory education in every corner of the country and facilitate integration between poverty alleviation through education and rural rejuvenation; third, encourage universities directly affiliated to the MOE to innovate and increase efficiency in their targeted poverty alleviation efforts. Chen also stressed the importance of enhancing coordination between different stakeholders while giving full play to their unique strengths.
Ruan pledged that Yunnan province would take effective measures to fight the two “uphill battles” – outbreak prevention and poverty alleviation. He listed five actions to be taken in the province: a) implementation of thorough investigations in counties that had passed and applied to pass the evaluations for exiting the rank of “poorest counties”, with the view to consolidating poverty eradication outcomes; b) identification of specific tasks in the remaining counties to ensure that they shed off poverty on schedule; c) promotion of oversight by provincial government leaders in four designated counties and two other with poor population exceeding 5,000; d) implementation of targeted plans for two minority communities in the province that had shifted directly from primitive to modern society; and e) reinforcement of tailored measures for different counties, different schools and different people, and further reducing dropout rates.
Representatives from the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, National Health Commission, National Center for Educational Technology, Northwest A & F University, University of Electronic Science and Technology also delivered speeches during the conference.