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Big data serves in poverty alleviation for Arun Banner

China Daily, November 4, 2016 Adjust font size:

Recently, a platform powered by big data tech was set up in Arun Banner, Hulunbuir League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, producing accurate and efficient poverty alleviation in the local area.

This big data system covers detailed information of the more than 15,000 local residents living in the impoverished area, and also manages the aid-funds to guarantee it can benefit the poor. Furthermore, around 1,500 local cadres and their corresponding aiding subjects are filed in the system.

As a self-designed system, the poverty-alleviation e-platform cost over 170,000 yuan ($25,000) to be built and was sponsored by the regional and local finance departments, said Chen Qian, head of the poverty relief office in Arun Banner.

“Every time I pay a visit for the poor in a village, I need to write a journal and upload photos on this big data system, mainly about the present living conditions of those in need,” said Feng Lizhi, deputy mayor of Xiangyangyu, a town in Arun Banner.

“Look at this picture; this family harvested an amount of edible fungus, which means the family could earn 20,000 yuan per capita this year,” said Feng, clearly excited.

Feng came to visit Zhang Ronghua, a villager labeled as poor in the system, and helped him escape poverty by providing a job as a cleaner. Also, Feng contacted local retailers to help Zhang distribute his mushrooms.

Feng also showed how the big data platform runs by taking out a phone and scanning a code in Zhang’s home, and then the basic information and daily aid records were instantly presented on the screen.

As a farmer receiving targeted poverty-alleviation funds, Zhang Ronghua has suffered from cirrhosis and his wife has been tormented with heart disease for years, resulting in high medical bills that far beyond the family’s ability to cope.

“Nowadays, the local government has taken practical actions to support poor families, and I am quite grateful for what they have done to help our family, especially Feng, who often comes to visit and solve our problems. And thanks to his support, the fungus can be sold at a nice price,” Zhang said.

This year, the income for Zhang’s family is expected to reach 40,174 yuan, which means this family’s dire situation will soon be changed, according to Feng.

With 6.72 percent of the population in poverty, Arun Banner has been recognized as a key target poverty-reduction county in Inner Mongolia. With a population of 320,000 people, it houses 64 poor villages and 15,000 impoverished residents, and the big data platform provides local cadres and departments with a manageable, efficient and practical tool to tackle poverty.