A total of 182 people, teams, businesses and organizations received awards from the Ministry of Civil Affairs on Sunday for their involvement in the government-led drive to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and curb rural poverty.
State Councilor Wang Yong addressed the China Charity Awards ceremony in Beijing on Sunday, which was also the International Day of Charity.
Wang said the charity sector, whose development is a sign of social progress, has seen notable progress since 2012. It had played a major role in a number of areas, including curbing poverty, containing the pandemic and turning China into a "moderately prosperous society in all respects".
He said authorities need to improve policies relating to charities, promote the healthy development of the charity sector and guide the sector in aiding the disadvantaged and contributing to common prosperity.
More efforts are also needed to implement the Charity Law, improve the incentive mechanism and foster all charitable groups in line with the central government's requirements, Wang said.
Incentives will be rolled out to guide the groups on aiding disadvantaged groups such as the elderly, the disabled, the young and the poor. Programs that assist schooling and medical services will also be rolled out.
Charities are also being encouraged to help consolidate the fruits of the government's poverty-relief campaigns and strengthen social safety nets. Authorities will need to bolster oversight, while the industry should have better self-discipline and transparency, he said.
Some of the award recipients attended the ceremony through video link in line with COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
Pema Yangjan was one of them. In 2010, she founded a nonprofit organization in the Tibet autonomous region to help bolster health services for pregnant women and newborns in remote areas. She said her organization has helped deliver 5,000 babies and trained 3,680 rural medical workers.
The Guangzhou Liby Group, a producer and distributor of cleaning products, was one of the businesses to receive an award. The group donated 200 million yuan ($30.9 million) worth of sanitizers and other supplies to help combat the coronavirus outbreak last year.
Dang Yanbao, chairman of Ningxia Baofeng Group, also received an award. In 2011, Dang established a foundation that has helped pay the tuition fees of 256,700 students and made donations to and helped establish several schools and hospitals in remote parts of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.
The government recently announced that it plans to let the charity sector play a greater role in helping narrow the wealth gap and assist the nation to achieve common prosperity.