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China Red Cross Receives 1.25 Bln Yuan Donations for Quake Relief

China's Red Cross Foundation said on Tuesday that it received 1.395 billion yuan (about US$204 million) in donations in the first half of 2008, of which 1.25 billion yuan was for relief and reconstruction efforts in Sichuan and other regions hit by the May 12 earthquake.

Foundation general secretary Wang Rupeng said some 317 million yuan had been transferred to the quake zone as of July 31.

Wang added that "post-quake reconstruction will be the foundation's focus in the latter half of 2008, and possibly, in the next year."

According to the Red Cross, 40 percent of the total funds will be used to rebuild houses, 30 percent for primary and middle schools, 25 percent for health facilities and the rest for supporting orphans, the handicapped and lone elders in the quake zone.

Vice general secretary Liu Xuanguo said that the foundation had invited public bidding for the first time on five quake relief projects, including a care center for lone elders and the handicapped and eco-friendly toilets.

The projects involving public bidding are worth 20 million yuan.

The earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale had killed 69,207 people as of Monday and another 18,194 were still missing.

(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2008)

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