Despite efforts to improve the lives of China's 60 million disabled people, many continue to struggle for survival. A spokesman for the Chinese Federation for the Disabled said although 10 million people with disabilities had been lifted out of poverty over the past decade, much remained to be done. More than 3.4 billion yuan (HK$3.19 billion) has been spent on poverty relief work for disabled people since 1992. According to Xinhua, the spokesman said about 30 per cent of the 60 million disabled live in areas officially designated as 'poverty stricken'. The spokesman said since the majority of disabled persons lived in rural areas, public participation was crucial in enabling them to make a decent living. He said there were only 2,218 government-run homes for disabled in county towns and 23,829 in villages for the whole of China, meaning most disabled had to rely on family for support, or cope alone. However, the spokesman said Communist Party units and other organisations such as state-owned enterprises and neighbourhood units could offer help to those in need. He suggested local authorities should tailor assistance for disabled people to the local economy by such initiatives as granting small loans to encourage disabled persons to run small businesses or farms to support themselves. The federation is a quasi-official organisation responsible for administering mainland programmes for the disabled. Foreign critics say disabled people and orphans are the most disadvantaged of all people in China and are not represented by any social bodies, leading to neglect by the rest of society.