China Publicizes Natural Disaster Relief Regulations
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China publicized regulations on natural disaster relief on Wednesday.
The regulations, which make clear the responsibility of governments in disaster relief work, will take effect Sept. 1, 2010.
According to the regulations, leaders of governments at all levels will be held accountable for relief work, and the nationwide relief work is to be commanded by the national disaster reduction authority.
The regulations also stipulates that governments above county level are responsible for mapping out emergency response plans, providing transportation and communication facilities to disaster relief work, designating emergency shelters and training disaster relief teams.
Further, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council issued a statement Wednesday, further clarifying the regulations.
The statement notes that China is a natural disaster prone country. Over the past two decades, natural disasters have killed 4,300 people each year.
The central government has allocated over 5 billion yuan (US$737 million) of annual relief fund during the past five years.
The statement goes on to say that disaster relief work is still plagued by several problems, such as slack supervision over donations and other concerns.
To address this problem, the regulations stipulate that donations could only be used in relief work. Governments at all levels, including grass-roots communities, should make public all information about donors, amounts of donations, and its specific usage.
The regulations also stipulates that governments at all levels must devise a supervisory system dealing with complaints and whistle blowers, to prevent abuse of disaster relief donations and materials.
(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2010)