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China Audits Use of Goods, Funds in Quake Relief

China's auditing department is working on auditing the use of goods and funds in earthquake relief, and the results will be released to the public around June 20, the National Audit Office (NAO) said on Thursday.

China has dispatched more than 6,000 professionals from the NAO and local audit authorities for on-site supervision of relief resources for the May 12 earthquake.

Wang Zhongxin, head of the social security auditing department of the NAO, said the professionals were dispatched to some central departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the China Red Cross Society.

Wang said the NAO would publish the auditing results each month starting from June 20.

The NAO would make sure that these resources were distributed on time and in full; that they were distributed in an open and just way and that they were used for the designated purposes, said the statement.

Auditors would investigate and deal with any attempt to hide, intercept or misappropriate donations, the NAO said.

Domestic and foreign donations had reached 43.764 billion yuan (US$6.33 billion) as of Thursday noon. A total of 12.795 billion yuan had been forwarded to the earthquake-affected areas.

In addition, 820,000 tents, one of the most urgently needed relief supplies, had been delivered to quake regions. About 4,709,200 quilts and 11,860,100 garments had also been sent.

The government has allocated 23.184 billion yuan for quake relief efforts. The funds included 18.689 billion yuan from the central budget and 4.495 billion yuan from local budgets.

The 8.0-magnitude earthquake centered in Sichuan's Wenchuan County had claimed 69,127 lives nationwide as of Thursday noon, while 373,612 were injured and 17,918 were missing.

(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2008)

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