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China to boost development of children in underdeveloped areas

2015-01-16 09:23 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

The government has laid out new measures to ensure children in impoverished areas have improved access to education and health care, a document published on the Chinese government website said Thursday.

The Enhancing Underprivileged Children Development Plan (2014-2020), released by the General Office of the State Council, will cover 40 million children that have lower development in health and education than the national average.

Children in the rural areas of 680 counties will receive benefits such as neonatal care to affordable education, according to the plan.

The measures aim close the gap between the overall level of development of children in such areas and the national average by 2020.

Efforts will be made in major areas including neonatal health, nutrition, medical care, education and special needs.

The document said the maternal mortality rate in these regions should be decreased to 30 per 100,000. p The infant and child mortality rates should also drop to 12 per 1,000 and 15 per 1,000, respectively. Free vaccines will also be provided.

Seventy-five percent of children should be enrolled in kindergartens and the number of those finishing a nine-year compulsory education will be no less than 93 percent of the number enrolled, according to the plan.

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