Rural Welfare System Benefits Three Million Poor Farmers

Nearly 2,000 out of China's 2,687 counties have established a rural welfare system to some extent, which currently benefits more than three million poor farmers, according to an official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs Monday.

The minimum life security system aims to provide allowances to rural families the per-capita annual income of which is below the regional average.

"It is a reform step based on the traditional relief system in rural China, which makes the previous temporary relief efforts more standardized," the official said.

Statistics show that in 1999, some 930 million yuan in cash and goods was distributed among some 3.16 million poor farmers, of which half came from the state and half came from collectives.

The rural welfare system is different from the urban welfare system in the aspects of relief contents, methods, standards, cycles and fund sources.

The allowance, given to farmers quarterly or every six months, can basically ensure the daily necessities of poor farmers, the official said.


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