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China channels more funds, care into helping children in need

Updated: May 28,2019 8:51 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese government has increased financial support to help children in poverty or other difficult situations, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs on May 27.

The central government has increased the basic living allowance it gives to orphans by 50 percent beginning this year, said Guo Yuqiang, director of the child welfare department of the ministry, at a press conference.

With the hikes, orphans in less developed western regions receive 600 yuan (about $87) per person each month, while those in central and eastern areas get 450 yuan and 300 yuan, respectively, from central coffers, Guo said.

Apart from the living allowance, China is gradually extending the coverage of orphans’ security to medical and educational aspects, Guo noted.

The government subsidizes the out-of-pocket portion of the medical insurance reimbursement for orphan medical rehabilitation costs with the help of a special program for the vulnerable group.

Regarding education, the ministry intends to introduce a project aimed to assist orphans in their studies by subsidizing living costs for orphans admitted to colleges, even after they reach the age of 18.

The government has also strengthened protection of children left behind by parents who have migrated to work in cities, or those in poor areas, amid the country’s battle against poverty.

In 2019, the ministry for the first time set aside 400 million yuan for children’s protection from the central assistance fund for people with financial difficulties, said Ni Chunxia, deputy director of the child welfare department.

The fund can be used to collect evidence on those in need of rescue, evaluate guardianship, and conduct follow-up studies and visits for needy children, especially those in impoverished areas, according to Ni.

The department has also directed 70 percent of assistance programs provided by children’s social organizations to poor regions over the past two years.

In addition, the ministry will offer more than 1.4 million yuan to train personnel in charge of children’s work in 22 provincial-level areas in the less-developed central and western regions, Ni said.

Moreover, relief organizations in the country had protected 68,000 minors who were homeless or in need of help in 2018.

The country’s 1,806 relief organizations for minors offered protection for those who were homeless or without guardians or victims of domestic violence, Ni said.