China plans $1.32 billion aid plan for needy

BEIJING - China will hand out $1.32 billion in aid to its poorest citizens two weeks ahead of the country’s most important holiday, state media announced Tuesday.

By (AP)

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Published: Tue 13 Jan 2009, 7:49 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:19 AM

The official Xinhua News Agency said 74 million Chinese already receiving minimum living allowances would receive a one-off payment of 100 yuan ($14.60) if they live in the countryside and 150 yuan ($21.90) if they live in a city.

Xinhua said the average annual income for rural workers in China was $605 (4,140 yuan) in 2007, and $3,645 (24,932 yuan) for city-dwellers. The average monthly allowance for the poor is $28 (190 yuan) in urban areas and $11.70 (80 yuan) in rural areas.

The payments, which will total 9 billion yuan, will be made by the central government before the Chinese Lunar New Year. Hundreds of millions of people will travel for the holiday - China’s most important occasion for family reunions - which falls on Jan. 26 this year.

“The Chinese government attaches great concern to the livelihood of the disadvantaged population, especially in times of a global financial crisis,” Civil Affairs Vice Minister Jiang Li was quoted as saying.

Local authorities must make sure all needy citizens qualifying for the aid package receive the payment in time, “so that they could enjoy a happy Lunar New Year,” he said.

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