China hails social assistance achievements

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 20, 2012
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China has established an institutional and comprehensive social assistance system over the past decade designed to guarantee the livelihoods of people in need, the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced Thursday.

Li Liguo, Minister of the  Ministry of Civil Affairs at the press conference Thursday.[Photo/Xinhua]

Li Liguo, Minister of the  Ministry of Civil Affairs at the press conference Thursday.[Photo/Xinhua]

The system has covered both urban and rural areas, and its provision of medical aid has been developed, the ministry said in a press release distributed at a news conference.

"The standard of assistance and subsidies has been improved substantially," the ministry said.

Urban beneficiaries' average monthly subsistence allowances have increased from 148 yuan (about 23.5 U.S. dollars) in 2002 to 288 yuan in 2011, according to the ministry.

For rural beneficiaries, annual allowances stood at 1,718 yuan in 2011, nearly double the 2007 figure.

The ministry said around 23 million people enjoyed urban subsistence allowances while the number benefiting from rural subsistence allowances stood at 53.06 million last year.

It also said 2.41 million urban vagrants and 179,000 beggars benefitted from the allowances in 2011.

Additionally, street children have been helped through special measures including providing protection, education and family reunion assistance.

The ministry described the achievement as a "historic transfer" from temporary and simple social assistance in the past.

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