China builds expansive system for the needy

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/14 21:58:40

Most outstanding achievements in world in past decade: expert

Cai Jianhua makes a paper sculpture at home in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, on January 3, 2018. The 50-year-old Cai is a hearing impaired woman in Zhengzhou. After graduating from middle school, she learned embroidery, paper folding and weaving under her grandmother's instruction. As she became a laid-off worker in 2001, Cai showed an interest in paper sculpture. She innovated paper sculpture skills and won some prizes. In 2014, Cai Jianhua founded a paper sculpture workshop with the aid of a training center for disabled people and taught her skills to other disabled people. Photo: Xinhua

After 40 years of development, China has built a social assistance system that covers people with low subsistence, the disabled, homeless and underage. 

The system covers basic living allowances, support for the extremely poor, disaster assistance, medical assistance, housing assistance, education assistance and employment assistance, according to an article published on the People's Daily on Thursday.

"China is the country with the most outstanding achievements in global social assistance reform in the past 10 years," Lin Mingang, a professor at the School of Government of Nanjing University, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Social assistance has become the basis of social insurance schemes which ensures the basic living of Chinese citizens and maintains social stability, Lin noted. 

A resident from Northeast China's Jilin Province surnamed Sun, who is one of the many subsistence allowance beneficiaries, receives medical assistance from the local government, the People's Daily reported on Thursday.

Sun had been hospitalized for cerebral hemorrhage which costs more than 12,100 yuan ($1,790) after medical insurance reimbursements, half of which is covered by the medical assistance offered by the local government.  

By the end of September 2018, 46.2 million people had been covered by subsistence allowance nationwide, including 10.69 million in urban areas, according to the People's Daily.

The national average subsistence allowance is at present 575 yuan per person per month in urban areas and 4,754 yuan per person per year in rural areas, an increase of 7.6 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. 

According to the People's Daily, in 1999, the State Council implemented the Regulations on Guaranteeing Minimum Subsistence for City Residents, and in 2007, the State Council issued the circular establishing a minimum living allowance system for rural residents.

Guan Xinping, an expert on social policy at Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times that China has built a mature mechanism to identify people living in extreme poverty and provide them with help, but the support  standard needs to be  increased to catch up with the economic development. 

The current social assistance mechanism could only cover people who suffer from survival difficulties, but as the country develops, China should set higher targets to help more people, Guan noted. 

The social assistance system also covers the disabled and homeless. Allowances for the disabled cover more than 2.2 million people, the People's Daily reported. 

In 2018, 1.2 million homeless people and beggars were helped. The Ministry of Civil Affairs, together with other departments, had also helped 64,483 homeless children return to school, said the report. 

Posted in: CHINA WATCH

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