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China begins surveying orphan situation
Updated: 2008-10-17 23:55

BEIJING - China has launched a nationwide investigation into the living conditions of orphans in a bid to improve social welfare services for the special group.

The survey, organized by the Ministry of the Civil Affairs, is expected to find out the numbers of orphans living in both cities and villages, how these children have been left alone by their parents, and in what way they are now being attended.

The investigators will try to learn about the situation of those living in orphanages and the average spending for their daily life; the situation of orphans living with public assistance, and basic conditions in state-run orphanages.

The survey will cover some fundamental issues about orphans, such as education, medical care and rehabilitation, as well as their employment and housing when they grow up.

The ministry urged local authorities to pay high attention to the survey, find out outstanding problems and give proposals for policy makers.

On October 28, all the results collated by local investigators will be handed over to the ministry.

According the last national survey on orphans in 2005, China had 573,000 orphans, or 4.43 for every 10,000 people.