BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhua) - China had spent 8.61 billion yuan (1.25 billion US dollars) to support people in special difficulties by the end of March 2019, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) said on Monday.
Huang Xingqi (L) and her twin sister Huang Xingyi have free lunch at a kindergarten in Yuping Dong Autonomous County of Tongren, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 28, 2019. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)
More than 4.78 million people are living in difficult situations in the country, including the elderly, the disabled and minors who are incapable of working, have no source of income, and have no others to rely on for support.
Among the needy people, nearly 4.5 million are from rural areas while the remaining 286,000 are from urban areas, said Jia Weizhou, a spokesperson for the MCA, at a press conference.
Meanwhile, a total of 62.77 billion yuan had been allocated as subsistence allowances to 44 million people by the end of May 2019, 9.4 million of whom are from urban areas, Jia said.
The country also increased financial support for orphans. The central government has raised the basic living allowances for orphans from eastern, central and western areas by 50 percent to 300 yuan, 450 yuan and 600 yuan per person each month, respectively.
Rehabilitation programs are underway to provide medical care for orphans suffering from diseases or disabilities.
Moreover, rescue stations nationwide provided assistance to more than 400,000 homeless people and helped 3,693 people return home in the first half of 2019, said the spokesperson.