BEIJING — The Ministry of Civil Affairs will review into its social welfare network and offer psychological help for the needy, said a ministry spokesman on June 12.
The ministry made the decision following the death of four children in Southwest China’s Guizhou province, said Chen Rifa, the ministry spokesman.
Four siblings aged between 5 and 13 died in hospital after swallowing pesticide in Bijie City on June 9. The children had lived on their own without adult guardians since at least March. After the incident, local authorities were unable to get in touch with their parents.
The ministry instructed the provincial civil affairs department to investigate as soon as it was informed of the incident, Chen said.
The ministry will look into social welfare services nationwide, especially emergency relief for the needy. The government will try to not only offer financial relief, but also psychological assistance, Chen said.
The ministry has already run pilot projects for children whose parents are absent because of illness, disability, imprisonment, drug use or negligence. The pilot projects will be expanded, Chen said.
It will also work with other departments, nongovernmental organizations and village communities to launch a special service for rural children who are left behind by migrant worker parents, he said.