BEIJING - The Chinese government said Friday it will provide annual financial assistance to underage orphans to improve their livelihood.
An orphan in less developed western provinces will receive 4,320 yuan ($635) this year, a Ministry of Civil Affairs statement said.
An orphan in China's central provinces will receive 3,240 yuan while those in eastern provinces will receive 2,160 yuan.
The ministry said the nation has not supported orphans enough.
Orphanages have run short of professional nursing staff and many orphans face education, medical and employment difficulties.
This year the central government will give 2.5 billion yuan in financial assistance to underage orphans.
The money will be disbursed to orphans' personal bank accounts, those of their guardians or the corporate accounts of orphanages.
The government will continue to give financial assistance in future years, the statement said.