Monday, November 23, 2009

China launches program to aid jobless disabled people

From Xinhua:

BEIJING -- The China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF) and the Ministry of Finance on Nov. 22 jointly launched a plan to finance the service toward the jobless with mental and serious physical disabilities.

According to the "Sunshine Home" plan, starting from this year, the central government will earmark 600 million yuan (about 87.8 million U.S. dollars) in three years to boost the building of a system caring the disabled people in the country.

Care homes, built either by local governments or by non-profit organizations or individuals, are eligible for the subsidiary if they meet the requirements, including facilities and personnel.

Poor families with members who have mental and severe physical disabilities also can apply for the aid if the disabled person is jobless and needs care.

China currently has more than 83 million disabled persons. About 18 million of them suffer mental and severe physical disabilities, and are jobless, said Cheng Kai, vice chairman of the CDPF. Most of them are taken cared of by relatives and their families are usually poor.

The latest statistics show that institutions catering to the disabled persons across the country can only house up to 100,000 people.

The plan is a step to guide the government at all levels in further developing service toward the disabled, and build a caring system based on professional institutions, communities and neighborhood, Cheng said.