A total of 26.8 million migrant workers had work injury insurance in China by the end of March, 1.43 million more than at the end of last year, said a spokesman with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security on Thursday.
But the figure still only accounts for 13.4 percent of the country's total migrant worker population, which stands at 200 million, with 120 million in cities and the rest in towns.
The number of migrant workers with medical insurance reached 24.1 million, said the ministry spokesman Yin Chengji.
This year China will continue pushing for wider insurance coverage for its migrant workers, Yin said.
In May 2006, the Chinese government launched a nationwide, three-year program to bring all migrant workers in high risk sectors like coal mining and construction under the work injury insurance system.
However, no specific figures have been released to indicate how many migrant workers in these sectors are covered.
Yin also said the ministry helped 1.5 million migrant workers in 27 provinces recover a total of 1.74 billion yuan (US$223 million) of unpaid wages in the first quarter of this year.
The Chinese government plans to have 36 million migrant workers covered by the work injury insurance by the end of 2007, according to earlier reports.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2007)