As of the end of 2019, more than five million people in 52 counties across China were still living in extreme poverty, only six months ahead of the central government’s deadline to eradicate extreme poverty in late 2020. On January 25, the State Council released a directive to send officials to supervise poverty relief work in 1,113 villages. Their mission focuses on specifying the responsibilities of local governments to improve compulsory education, basic medicare, housing security, employment and the relocation of impoverished households. In addition, priority was given to the implementation of poverty alleviation policies and the proper use of the special fund in a bid to ensure that no poor household is left behind. The unemployment resulting from the widespread suspension of production due to the coronavirus, coupled with the low-income populations who are likely to slip further into poverty, are the main challenges for China to fulfill its poverty alleviation goal.