More than one-third of the mainland's 573,000 orphans do not receive any basic financial help from the government and many others do not have access to basic health care and education, according to a landmark Sino-British report. The report is based on the first nationwide survey of orphaned children and was jointly carried out by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the UK-based Save the Children organisation, and Beijing Normal University. The study revealed that about 86 per cent of orphans lived in rural areas and fewer than half of those in the countryside received financial support from local governments. In metropolitan areas, fewer than 70 per cent of orphans received minimum welfare payments from the state. About 78 per cent of orphans throughout the country lived with relatives, while 69,000 children without parents were living in government-run orphanages. The report also said Henan province had more than 50,000 orphans - the highest number for a single province. Shang Xiaoyuan, a Beijing Normal University professor working on the study, told the Beijing News that in many places, funding was only symbolic. 'In these areas, the payments do not cover even a quarter of a normal child's daily living expenses, and in many regions, it's as little as a tenth,' Professor Shang said. 'Many orphans are living in extreme poverty, especially in rural areas.' Rural orphans received on average 1,190 yuan each year from the government, much less than their urban counterparts, the report said. In some provinces, such as Guizhou , Hunan , and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region , orphans got at most 50 yuan each month. Kate Wedgwood, Beijing director of the Save the Children China Programme, said the total number of orphans in China was based on figures reported by lower-level civil affairs departments to the central government body, and the real number could be higher. The Ministry of Civil Affairs is seeking more funding to increase subsidies to orphans, the Beijing News reports.