Ministry of Civil Affairs releases annual plan to support social organizations

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs has released its annual policy document on government support for social organizations providing social services, entitled the “2019 Plan for Implementing the Central Financial Support for Social Organizations Participating in Social Service Projects” (2019年中央财政支持社会组织参与社会服务项目实施方案). According to the relevant announcement, published by the Ministry on the 16th of April, the main focus of the Plan will be on supporting national social organizations and particularly impactful local ones to carry out social service activities in impoverished areas, and especially in the so-called “three areas and three prefectures” (三区三州): six areas of Western China that have been designated as “deeply impoverished”, including Tibet, Tibetan areas in other provinces, four prefectures in Southern Xinjiang, Liangshan prefecture in Sichuan province, Nujiang prefecture in Yunnan province, and Linxia prefecture in Gansu province.

Although similar plans to support social organizations providing social services were produced by the MCA in 2018 and 2017, this is the first time that the document appears to focus so heavily on poverty alleviation, particularly in Western China. This may reflect a desire to promote the contribution of social organizations towards the government’s stated goal of eliminating poverty by 2020.