HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, China

China gets green light for $100m loan for elderly care system upgrade

The system boost will be for Hebei Province.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $100 million with a complementary technical assistance grant of $670,000 to support development of an elderly care system in Hebei Province.

“As an aging society, Hebei has a strong desire to identify models and partnerships that can deliver affordable and quality elderly care services which address the needs of the diverse older population,” said Wendy Walker, an ADB Principal Social Development Specialist. “The project will be ADB’s first to comprehensively address elderly care services development by the public and private sector, providing a demonstration project to define the optimum roles for the different stakeholders.”

The aging population along with its attendant social and economic impacts is the most significant demographic challenge facing the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Hebei reached “aging society” status in 1999 when it passed the 10% threshold of population over the age of 60. This was projected to have reached 17% in 2016, and will rise to 31% by 2050 — just below the national estimate of 34% for that year.

Traditional family support systems are increasingly unable to meet elderly care needs, due to the combined impacts of fast urbanization, internal migration of youth away from rural areas, and the one-child policy.

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