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China Allocates 2.32 Bln Yuan for School Reconstruction in Quake Zone

China's government is to allocate 2.32 billion yuan (US$332 million) from the central budget to primary and middle schools in quake-hit Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi provinces.

The fund will be used to maintain and reconstruct school buildings, and buy teaching equipment and facilities, the Ministry of Finance announced on Monday.

A ministry statement said 1.34 billion yuan would be channeled to building reconstruction, and the remainder would fund the purchase of teaching equipment and facilities.

Government departments were asked to closely monitor the fund usage, and to ensure construction quality.

The May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province had claimed 69,197 lives as of July 24, leaving 374,176 injured and 18,209 missing.

The government disaster relief fund had topped 61.6 billion yuan (US$8.93 billion).

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2008)

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