Children play with bubbles amid sunflowers at Qunli village of Changsha city, capital of Central China's Hunan province, July 5, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
By the end of June, China had provided 14.62 billion yuan ($2.09 billion) in price subsidies to support people in need across the country, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Wednesday. The subsidy was doubled from March to June, and significantly, orphans and unattended children were for the first time included among the recipients.
That's a good move. In order to ensure the basic life of people in need, the government has set up relief measures such as the minimum standard of living allowance and unemployment insurance. The so-called temporary price subsidy refers to the subsidy paid when basic commodity prices rise significantly. This year, considering the negative effects of the novel coronavirus epidemic and the floods that are still threatening many provinces in the south of the country, the subsidy is important assistance for many vulnerable groups, especially orphans and unattended children.
The subsidy will benefit hundreds of thousands of orphans and unattended children, which will undoubtedly be of great help. The government has long been providing more support to this group. The standard of living allowance for orphans was raised by 50 percent last year, while their rights to education and medical care have been better protected. This year, by including them among the groups eligible for the temporary price subsidies, the ministry has strengthened the social welfare net and provided help to those who need it most.
By extending a helping hand to orphans and children in need, the government is shouldering its responsibility to help the vulnerable.
The ministry said that the subsidy covers about 242,000 orphans and 190,000 unattended children. That means over 432,000 children have received support.
The next step should be to strengthen supervision. Local governments might need to visit the orphans more, check whether they got the money, and inquire about their other needs so as to better help them.
Local governments should simplify and optimize the examination and approval procedures, shorten the time it takes to grant the subsidies and strive to maximize effectiveness of the policy.