China's charity and social welfare sectors require about 200,000
care workers to take care of orphans and disabled children,
according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
"According to the ministry's regulation one care worker should
be responsible for two children so a total of 200,000 care workers
are needed over the next few years," said ministry official Jia
Currently only about 8,000 care workers serve in the country's
224 orphanages, which along with around 1,200 social welfare
institutions, have adopted 66,000 orphans, abandoned babies and
Ministry statistics show China has 573,000 orphans. Most of them
have been adopted by local families.
The central government added "care workers for orphans and
disabled children" to China's list of new professions this month
aiming to guide the development of occupational education and
Chinese medical colleges are starting to offer "care worker"
majors to university and vocational school students.
And the country still requires 100,000 more "disaster
information consultants" to improve the nation's response to
natural disasters. "China currently has about 46,000 disaster
information consultants but more than 150,000 are needed to cover
every village in the country," said a ministry spokesman.
After a year in which China was battered by typhoons and hit by
drought the need to improve the country's response to natural
disasters has become paramount. "The consultants will strengthen
grass-roots reporting of, and response to, natural disasters and
help build a village-level natural disaster reporting system which
can collect and analyze information," said the spokesman.
Natural disasters affecting China in 2006 killed 3,186 people
and caused direct losses of 253 billion yuan (US$35 billion). These
arer the highest figures in eight years.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2007)