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$12 billion to help residents fight winter cold

Updated: Feb 13,2015 12:05 PM

A total of 76.76 billion yuan ($12 billion) has been set aside as this year’s minimum subsistence allowance for residents of urban and rural areas to help them combat the cold weather.

The measure aims to ensure financial support for families and individuals in need to tackle the cold weather at the beginning of 2015, according to a press release the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued at the weekly State Council policy briefing on Feb 13.

By the end of December, more than 18.8 million urban residents received minimum subsistence allowances, with an average standard of 411 yuan per person per month. The average rural subsistence allowance standard was 2,777 yuan per person per year, and 52 million people in rural received the subsidy last year.

According to the release, 69.46 billion yuan in urban subsistence allowances was issued last year, while the figure for rural subsistence allowances was 84.4 billion yuan.

An executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Feb 11 spelt out tasks to ensure better conditions and healthcare for economically challenged citizens in the winter and spring.

The meeting asked for greater efforts in identifying citizens in need, and priority should be given to residents who are victims of natural disasters, and allowances should be raised for people suffering serious diseases.