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Huge Fund Spent on Operations for Disabled Orphans

A total of 9,149 disabled orphans in China have received operation and rehabilitation treatment over the past year, thanks to a program launched by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (CMCA).

About 115 million yuan (about US$18 million) have been spent to implement the "Tomorrow Plan -- Operations and Rehabilitation for Disabled Orphans" launched in May 2004.

"Surgical operations have improved the physical conditions of disabled orphans," said Zhang Shifeng, deputy director of Social Welfare and Social Affairs Department of the CMCA.

CMCA planned to raise a total of 600 million yuan (about US$74 million) from various channels to help 30,000 disabled orphans in the country have surgical operations and other rehabilitation services in three years.

"So far, we have received donations of 21 million yuan (about US$2.6 million) from society," said Zhang.

Since the launching of the Tomorrow Plan, more than 1,500 orphans have been adopted after operation. It would be easier for them to take part in normal social life, Zhang said.

Hong Kong OSJ, a charity organization, has donated 1 million yuan (about US$123,000) to offer support for 100 orphans suffering from amblyopia, or weak-sightedness.

The organization has helped several hundred children with amblyopia living in poor regions get rehabilitation treatment over the past two years.

To ensure smooth implementation of the "Tomorrow Plan", CMCA has made detailed measures to solve the difficulties in inland remote areas. CMCA has audited the plan for the following year and will appropriate funds needed.

(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2005)

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