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Rebuilding Homes Top Priority for Quake Relief Cash

China's State Council, or Cabinet, said on Monday that rebuilding homes is the first priority for quake-relief donations, as it takes steps to safeguard the handling of the billions of yuan donated.

The State Council's guide on the use of quake relief funds, aims to ensure a standard, transparent and efficient management of the increasing amount of relief funds which had reached 53.86 billion yuan (US$7.8 billion).

The funds should be used in rebuilding houses first, then in restoring public facilities such as schools, hospitals and social welfare services, as well as in helping the poor, the disabled, the elderly and orphans and rebuilding infrastructure such as village roads and bridges.

The guide said the use of donations and special Party dues should be arranged by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Public charity organizations such as the Red Cross Society of China and the China Charity Federation should discuss the use of relief funds with provincial governments receiving aid in line with the country's post-quake reconstruction regulation.

Relief funds received by Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing and Yunnan should be in principle used for reconstruction in those regions.

(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2008)

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