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Vagrants Get Aid as New System Begins

A new regulation on aiding vagrants and beggars in urban areas takes effect Friday and is expected to help improve the country's social security system.


The Measures on Aid and Management for Urban Vagrants and Beggars was approved by the State Council in mid-July. It aims to provide temporary shelter for the homeless in a bid to maintain social order in cities.


The new regulations were launched to replace the two-decade-old Measures for the Internment and Deportation of Urban Vagrants and Beggars.


The former holding and deportation system for vagrants and beggars in urban areas is no longer suitable for the current situation, Zhang Shifeng, vice-director of the Social Welfare and Social Affairs Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs, was quoted as saying.


The new regulation is designed to resolve the problem of urban vagrants and beggars and to improve social relief mechanisms, Zhang said.


Four aid stations for vagrants in Beijing will open to the public Friday, officials at the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau said.


Under the new regulation, vagrants can receive help from these aid stations if they are unable to feed themselves, have no relatives or friends with whom they can seek refuge and if they receive no minimum living allowance.

(China Daily August 1, 2003)

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