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As economic conditions worsen and an increasing number of workers, especially irregularly employed workers, lose their jobs, it is becoming urgent that the government strengthen the social safety net.

The number of people who receive livelihood protection assistance — the last resort for people in destitution — is increasing each year. As of September 2008, 1.58 million received the assistance. The number of households receiving the assistance is now nearing 1.2 million. This reflects an increase both in the number of low-income elderly people and in the number of workers who have lost jobs due to the nation’s economic downturn.

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