China Provides Women with 200 Billion Yuan in Small Loans


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China had issued 204.4 billion yuan (U.S. $32.9 billion) in guaranteed small loans to almost 4 million women as of the end of September 2014, according to the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF).

The central and local governments of China have already contributed 14.4 billion yuan (U.S. $2.3 billion) to help pay off the loan interest accrued on the granted loans, as was revealed by the ACWF at a December 17 Beijing press conference focusing on its key programs and undertakings.

Over the first three quarters of this year, the ACWF issued 24.1 billion yuan (U.S. $3.9 billion), benefiting roughly 388,700 women. The central and local governments provided 3.1 billion yuan (U.S. $49.9 million) to cover the loan interest.

The ACWF began the guaranteed-small-loan project in 2009, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the People's Bank of China, with the hope of helping women to lift themselves out of poverty.

The press conference also saw the unveiling of data on the Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening Project for Rural Women Residents, which is jointly conducted across rural China by the ACWF and the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC).

From January to September 2014, the program helped 63.3 million rural women to undergo free screening for cervical cancer and 956,000 rural women to undergo free breast cancer screening.

The ACWF launched the Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening Project for Rural Women Residents in June 2009, aiming to enable rural women to receive early diagnoses and to provide them with easier access to medical treatment.

Since then, 38.82 million women have undergone free cervical-cancer screening; 5.62 million women have benefited from free breast cancer screening; 31,077 disadvantaged women who have a form of cervical or breast cancer have received financial and medical aid; and 25,000 information sessions on cervical and breast cancer and general health training have been held, which were attended by a total of 4.67 million women.

During the press briefing, the ACWF announced its plan for three award ceremonies in late December.

As this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Spring Bud project of the China Children and Teenagers' Foundation (CCTF) — an affiliate of the ACWF — a ceremony will be held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 23, to celebrate the program and recognize the individuals and organizations that have made contributions to the project.

The Spring Bud project was launched in 1989 to help girls who have dropped out of school return to the classroom.

During the second half of this year, the ACWF's Department for Children organized a campaign to select the best family-themed sitcoms through online voting. On December 26, the department will hold an awards ceremony in Beijing for the winners.

The last ceremony will be held at the Chinese Museum of Women and Children in Beijing on December 30, to recognize individuals and organizations that helped promote the development of the charity for women and children between 2013 and 2014.

The ACWF and its subsidiary China Women's Development Foundation will hold the "China Women's Charity Awards" to recognize and present awards to 86 organizations and 46 individuals.

(Women of China)

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