The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced in Hong Kong on Thursday that a batch of tents worth about 3.7 million HK dollars (about US$474,359) were ready to be sent to Sichuan.
At the request of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Sichuan Provincial People's Government, the Hong Kong SAR government has procured and arranged airfreight of the tents to help the needy victims of the Sichuan earthquake disaster.
The relief supplies are scheduled to be delivered in batches and the first 1,000 tents will reach Sichuan on June 2. Free freight arrangements were offered by a local airline.
The grant is further to a disbursement of 323.8 million HK dollars made earlier for the relief headquarters of the Central Government; Disaster Relief Command of Yingxiu Town, Wenchuan County; The Amity Foundation; Hong Kong Red Cross and World Vision Hong Kong to provide emergency relief to victims affected by the earthquake. It takes the total value of grants for earthquake victims on the Chinese mainland to 327.5 million HK dollars.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said that the direct shipment at government-to-government level had been made possible under a special mechanism set up by the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee for this major disaster.
"The special mechanism enables the HKSAR government to respond quickly to direct appeals for aid in kind from the governments of the affected provinces or counties and relevant mainland authorities," the spokesman said.
In line with the established arrangements for grants made under the fund, the recipient units would provide the Hong Kong SAR government with a report to confirm the proper use of the supplies, the spokesman added.
(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2008)