China will relocate 2.49 million people from rural areas this year as part of efforts to fulfil on the government's target of lifting over 70 million people out of poverty by 2020.
China's economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), together with several other agencies, asked local authorities in 22 provinces and regions to intensify efforts to achieve the target.
To support this, the NDRC has allocated 16 billion yuan (USD 2.5 billion) since March, and several loans and funds have also been promised.
Despite China's double digit economic growth over the past decades, there are still 70 million people living below the poverty line of 2,300 yuan in annual income by 2010 price standards last year, many in harsh conditions without roads or water and power.
The authorities describe eliminating rural poverty as the most difficult challenge in building a "moderately prosperous society," and the government aims to help the remaining poor shake off poverty and enjoy essential social services by 2020.