Chinese government calls on middle class to help needy

China is calling on its growing middle class to share more of its good fortune with the needy. The spectacular economic growth of the last 25 years is estimated to have created more than 10,000 people with assets in excess of $10 million, but so far their philanthropic spirit has not kept pace with their growing wealth, in a country where tens of millions of people still live on less than a dollar a day.

Vice-minister of civil affairs, Li Liguo, said in January that the government needs more help from the private sector to deal with natural disasters, saying that the Chinese government ‘will make new policies, such as the introduction of tax breaks, and try to create a more encouraging social climate for corporate donations’. The private sector now accounts for more than half of China’s economy. Although tax revenues have grown, public spending has not prevented a widening gap between rich and poor, particularly in the areas of health and education.

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US donors promise aid to Vietnamese humanitarian projects

A group of US philanthropists spent 15 days touring sites in Vietnam in January as part of a pledge of support for humanitarian projects benefiting the disadvantaged in many parts of the country. Representatives of humanitarian organizations like Degenhardt Foundation, International Children’s Alliance, Rainbow House International and Adopt International have jointly kick-started humanitarian projects that total US$500,000 in value. They have also signed memoranda of understanding on a number of projects to help the disabled, single parents and poor children.

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