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ICBC’s Four Poverty Alleviation Targets Shake off Poverty

Poverty alleviation is the top priority for completing the mission of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and also a demanding task that must be fulfilled. Recently, the Government of Sichuan Province officially announced that Jinyang County has been lifted out of poverty, signaling ICBC’s poverty alleviation targets, Nanjiang, Tongjiang, Wanyuan and Jinyuan, Sichuan, have all shaken off poverty. Take Jinyang as an example. Since the targeted support was initiated in 2015, ICBC had been pooling forces of the entire Bank and took poverty alleviation measures in credit, industry, e-commerce and employment to enhance the endogenous growth function of poverty alleviation. It dispatched five officials to Jinyang in total, accumulatively donated over RMB200 million, and launched more than 40 projects, offering lasting impetus to poverty alleviation in such sectors as featured industry, education, employment and health care in Jinyang.

Leveraging the financial advantage to inject vigor into poverty alleviation

Jinyang, a national extremely impoverished county under targeted support by ICBC, is located in Liangshan Autonomous Prefecture. Sitting in the depth of Hengduan Mountains, the county suffered poor traffic conditions and backward economic and social development. Over the past five years, ICBC, committed to “ICBC enables what is  locally needed”, enlarged favorable credit resources, made customized credit policies, authorized special credit lines, designed exclusive loan products, and increased credit supply, having accumulatively granted over RMB120 million loans to enterprises and impoverished households in Jinyang, including more than RMB39 million loans on targeted poverty alleviation.

In line with needs of local industrial development, ICBC took industrial development as a key for extremely poor areas to sustainably lift themselves out of poverty. Over the past five years, the bank input a total of more than RMB40 million into over ten featured industrial projects such as green pepper, konjac and live pig, benefiting more than 20,000 people. Working with its counterparts, ICBC also developed the “banking + insurance” financial poverty alleviation mode and innovatively launched the “green pepper meteorological index insurance” to provide income security for 13,000 mu green pepper. Besides, ICBC innovatively launched such financial products as “Pepper and Konjac Loan” and “Startup Loan”, extending over RMB7 million inclusive loans. It also input RMB8 million to set up a risk compensation fund for small and micro businesses together with Jinyang county government to help these businesses with financing difficulties.

Staging sales platforms to tap industrial development potentials

“Deeply buried gold cannot shine”. In order to promote agricultural products outside Daliang Mountain, ICBC relied on its e-commerce platform ICBC Mall, especially the Jinyang section in the “Poverty Alleviation Hall”, to promote Jinyang’s local agricultural products nationwide under the “e-commerce + enterprise + impoverished household” mode, forming a closed loop of industrial poverty alleviation. Various online and offline activities such as “Shopping Fair for the Spring Festival” and “Food Fair Webcast” were launched to promote local agricultural products. Utilizing its broad customer resources, ICBC facilitated Hai Di Lao to purchase 800t green pepper from Jinyang, worth RMB70 million.

Meanwhile, ICBC actively staged internal and external support platforms, innovating a Guangdong-Jinyang paired support mechanism to focus on needs of local industrial development, by which it joined hands with three enterprises in the Greater Bay Area to donate RMB11 million to Jinyang in support for its industrial development. Amid the poverty alleviation efforts through consumption, it prioritized poverty alleviation products from Jinyang for labor union welfare and cafeteria procurement, and had procured agricultural products worth over RMB14 million from Jinyang by the end of October, 2020.

Developing education and boosting confidence to cut the root causes of poverty

Poverty are caused by differentiated factors. Focusing on developing education and boosting confidence, ICBC has long been injecting funds to address weak spots such as compulsory education and basic medical service in poverty-stricken areas, in an effort to cut the root causes of poverty by improving local educational and medical conditions.

ICBC invested over RMB17 million into expansion of teaching buildings in nine-year schools and township central schools, and launched such brand educational poverty alleviation projects as “Sailing Program” and “Candlelight Project” for five consecutive years, financially aiding 300 poor college students, and trained and commended 800 rural teachers.

In order to help the impoverished master a professional skill for employment, ICBC stepped up employment support, having input RMB42 million to build an vocational training center for poverty alleviation; unfolded transfer employment training in Jinyang that had trained over 3,000 people; and organized recruitment projects for poor college students. So far, it has directionally recruited 5 employees from Jinyang, and offered internship for 7 poor college students.

Regarding medical support for poverty alleviation, ICBC input more than RMB34 million to develop grade 2A hospitals, purchase medical equipment, develop disease control centers and renovate health centers. It implemented the rural medical security plan, which trained rural doctors for Jinyang and expanded and renovated rural health centers. In the “Eyes Care Action”, it worked with professional institutions to test eyesight for over 2,800 primary school students and offer free treatment to those in poverty.

Expanding service channels to improve financial service availability

In order to improve inclusiveness of financial services, ICBC took only 55 days in finishing the building of Jinyang Sub-branch. Since it was opened in the mid-June, the sub-branch had a deposit balance of nearly RMB200 million and had extended over RMB120 million loans. Meanwhile, ICBC actively planned for the setting of farmer-benefiting withdrawal sites. Since the first withdrawal site was set up in Bingdi Township, Jinyang in 2016, so far, four sites have been put into service across Jinyang, meeting the basic financial demand of citizens in the Yi ethnic region.

As for trading service sites, ICBC fully promoted mobile payment among medium and small-sized merchants in Jinyang. In high seasons of green pepper and other seasonal agricultural products, it actively developed trading service sites to facilitate farmers and purchasers with centralized trading and settlement.