China to improve national orphan support system

13:37, November 06, 2010      

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China plans on building an orphan support system that is as modern as the current level of social-economic development, said a senior official here Friday.

Sun Shaocheng, vice minister of China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, made the remarks while attending a high-level meeting on children's rights in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sun said, as China's economy grows, great headway has been made in supporting orphans, but some challenges still remain, such as increasing the number of orphans receiving social support, as well as for children living in extreme difficulties.

In October, the State Council of China ordered officials to guarantee the basic livelihood of orphans and improve their health care.

To this end, local authorities were required to set aside a special fund to cover orphans' living expenses, and the central government has since allocated 2.5 billion yuan (375 million U.S. dollars) to subsidize local governments, said Sun.

Across China, there are 303 child welfare homes and over 800 social welfare homes which also accommodate children, sheltering 114,000 orphans, according to statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.



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