BEIJING - China has made progress in enhancing civil affairs work since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, laying a solid foundation for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a civil affairs official said Friday.
Efforts were made to ensure disadvantaged groups are not left behind in the process of realizing moderate prosperity as well as in improving primary-level social governance and basic social services, said Li Jiheng, minister of civil affairs, at a press conference.
By the end of 2020, over 19 million poor people were covered by the subsistence allowance system or the relief and support system for people in extreme difficulties, said Li.
Efforts were also made to strengthen the security network to ensure basic living standards for people with difficulties. By the end of 2020, over 44 million people were covered by the urban and rural subsistence allowance system, with the average allowance standards increasing by 105 percent and 188 percent, respectively, over 2012, Li said.
In 2020, temporary assistance was provided to about 13.8 million people, he added.
A classified security system for children in difficulty was established to help orphans, disabled and left-behind children, Li said, noting that over 250,000 de facto unattended children have been included by the country's security system for the first time since 2020.
By the end of 2020, nearly 27 million people with disabilities benefited from the living allowance system for the disabled with difficulties and the nursing care subsidy system for the severely disabled, Li said.
He added that timely assistance was also provided for people affected by the epidemic and natural disasters.
Speaking of the progress in grassroots social governance, Li said social organizations played an active role in facilitating poverty eradication and improving social services.
During the period of 2016 to 2020, more than 90,000 social organizations invested 124.5 billion yuan (about $19 billion) into poverty-relief programs that benefited more than 100 million people, said Zhan Chengfu, vice minister of civil affairs.
China's charity organizations spent 50 billion yuan annually to help poor groups and people in need in recent years, and charity organizations, enterprises and individuals donated over 39.6 billion yuan to support the fight against COVID-19 in 2020, said Wang Aiwen, vice minister of civil affairs.
Basic social services directly related to people's well-being, such as elderly care, marriage and funeral services, have been upgraded and expanded to meet public expectations.
By the end of 2020, old-age allowance, elderly care service subsidies and nursing care subsidies for elderly people with disabilities had benefited 31 million, 5.35 million and 813,000 senior citizens, respectively, according to Li.
To better respond to the aging population, the Ministry of Civil Affairs will continue improving elderly-care facilities and exploring new modes of service during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), vice minister of civil affairs Gao Xiaobing said.