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Red Cross: Donations to Quake Zone Hit 15.84 Bln Yuan

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has received domestic and foreign donations totaling 15.84 billion yuan (about US$2.29 billion) for areas hit by the May 12 earthquake.

The RCSC said on Tuesday that 4.49 billion yuan in cash and 600 million yuan in goods was received by the headquarters, while 10.75 billion yuan of relief supplies was raised by local branches.

So far, 5.06 billion yuan worth of relief supplies in both cash and goods has been forwarded to the quake-hit provinces including Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Yunnan and Guizhou, according to the organization.

"This is the first time the RCSC has received and managed such a great amount of money," said RCSC president Peng Peiyun.

Peng said the RCSC's quake-relief efforts included medical teams and psychological assistance for survivors. The RCSC also coordinated work with foreign rescue teams, which "has never been done before," she said.

Peng, however, admitted there were problems and difficulties. The RCSC needs to strengthen its capacity to deal with extreme natural disasters and improve the quality of its local staff.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, domestic and foreign donations had reached 59.03 billion yuan in cash and goods by Monday noon. Of this, 22.78 billion yuan had been forwarded to quake-hit areas.

(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2008)

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