A total of 26.4 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) was allocated to fund minimum living allowances to China's urban and rural poor Monday by Chinese ministries of finance and civil affairs.
Of the total, 13.8 billion yuan will be allocated to urban low-income residents, with the remaining 12.6 billion yuan on rural low-income residents, said a statement released on the Ministry of Finance (MOF) website.
Subsistence allowances, as an important component of China's social securities system, aims to enable low-income households in both urban and rural areas to have access to adequate food and clothing.
The 26.4-billion-yuan fund, together with a 27.6 billion yuan fund allocated at the end of 2008, bring subsistence allowances from the central government to 54 billion yuan, up 48.95 percent from last year, the MOF statement said.
About 54.08 billion yuan was budgeted for subsistence allowances for 2009.
The average monthly allowance in 2008 was 205.3 yuan in urban areas per person and 82.3 yuan in rural areas. The rural allowance was less than that in urban areas because living costs there are lower.
There were 42.84 million beneficiaries in rural areas, and 23.35 million in urban areas by the end of 2008, according to a report from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.