Farmers collect apples in Ansai district of Yan’an, Shaanxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING – China’s central budget has allocated an additional 35.12 billion yuan ($5.1 billion) of funds for poverty relief, according to the Ministry of Finance.

This has increased the central government-assigned funds to 126.1 billion yuan in total this year, fulfilling the government’s allocation target, the ministry said.

The figure marked a year-on-year increase of 18.85 percent from 2018 and an annual increase of 20 billion yuan for the fourth year in a row.

The poverty relief fund must mainly be used to provide assistance to areas of extreme poverty and support poverty relief work in revolutionary base areas, the ministry said.

China has vowed to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020. As the deadline approaches, the country is focusing on the nation’s poorest people, who mainly dwell in deep mountains with adverse natural environments and backward infrastructure, or have special needs.

The country’s central budget also channeled funds to support sectors such as education, health care and social security by prioritizing poverty-stricken areas.