New office tasked with raising Taiwan’s low birth rate

The health ministry has announced it is opening a new office tasked with raising the country's low birth rate.

Increasing the birth rate has become a government priority as Taiwan's population enters a period of rapid aging. The office will begin operations as early as June with a goal to bring the birth rate up from 1.1 to 1.6.

The health minister, Chen Shih-chung, said Thursday the short-term plan includes subsidies for parents and assistance with childcare. Chen said the government wants the public to be able to have children, to want to have children, and to be able to afford children.

Chen said his ministry is considering how to make the best use of existing funds for the program and how to open up new sources of funds.

Source: Radio Taiwan International