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Red Cross Society Plans 1st 2.5 Bln Yuan for Post-quake Reconstruction

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) is planning to allocate 2.5 billion yuan (US$362.32 million) for rehabilitation projects in areas hit by the May 12 earthquake.

The money would be the first part to go to rehabilitation in quake zones from the donations the RCSC had received so far, the organization said in a statement in Beijing on Wednesday.

About 1.8 billion yuan would go to the worst hit southwest China’s Sichuan Province, 460 million yuan to northwest Chinas Gansu Province and 240 million to Shaanxi Province.

The funds would be spent in building hospitals, schools, residential buildings and quake prevention facilities.

The RCSC would first consider remote and poverty-stricken rural areas and needy people, including orphans, the disabled and elderly who lost family members, the statement said.

As of Monday, the RCSC had received 4.12 billion yuan from donors and 900 million yuan had been spent in quake relief.

The rest of the donations would go to restoration in stages, the statement said.

In a bid to make reconstruction projects meet local needs, the RCSC sent three investigation teams to the three provinces, it said.

Meanwhile, the China Red Cross Foundation (CRCF) managed by the RCSC kicked off Wednesday a special project for quake-affected children who suffered serious diseases.

"Many families lost properties in the major earthquake and might not be able to take care of their children suffering serious diseases such as leukemia, congenital heart disease and nephropathy," said Ren Ruihong, deputy director of the CRCF medical assistance department.

The foundation would give 10,000 yuan to 50,000 yuan to each child that matched the assistance standards, she said.

Li Shuhan, seven-year-old hearing-disabled girl from Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province, became the first beneficiary. She received surgery at a Beijing hospital on Wednesday to implant electronic devices to help her recover her hearing.

(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2008)

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