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Red Cross vows transparency in quake donations

Updated: 2013-04-25 10:15
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - The Red Cross Society of China, or RCSC, has promised to be fully transparent about donations raised for Lushan quake relief amid lingering trust crisis.

The RCSC started receiving donations for victims on Saturday after a strong quake hit Lushan county in Southwest China's Sichuan province, and as of 5 pm Tuesday, the donations amounted to 236 million yuan ($37.8 million), Wang Haijing, RCSC vice president, said in an interview with Xinhua.

Wang acknowledged that the "Guo Meimei" incident had affected donations for Lushan, as the public were hesitant to donate quake-relief money via the RCSC.

In 2011, a young woman calling herself Guo Meimei used social media to say she was a manager in the organization and openly flaunted wealth and extravagance, which hit the RCSC's reputation hard.

The incident led to public anger as people speculated the organization had embezzled their money.

Strengthened transparency

The RCSC has promised to treat every penny seriously and publicize details of the donations and their uses on its website, Wang said.

The society has allocated 55.68 million yuan of the donations to quake affected areas, including 15.94 million yuan in cash and 39.74 million yuan in goods such as coats, tents and drugs, said Wang.

It has also sent 113 rescue vehicles and 414 rescuers to the quake zone, the RCSC vice president said.

"Ultimately around 20 percent of the total donations will be used for emergency rescue, and the rest will be used for post-quake reconstruction," Zhao Baige, RCSC's executive vice president, told Xinhua.

Apart from being supervised by the audit department and the RCSC's disciplinary division, the society will be monitored by social organizations, media and the RCSC social supervision committee, according to Wang.

The supervision committee was set up at the end of last year and has no affiliation with the charity. The committee members, which are all professionals in fields of law, finance, medicine, social management and rescue-and-relief - work on a voluntary basis. They receive no pay or remuneration of any kind from the RCSC.

"We'll also recruit supervisors from the public and try to let everyone know how these donations are used," said Wang.

He said since the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, the society has begun publicizing donation information.

For example, each time the society receives a donation from a person, the bank will provide the name of the donator and the amount being given, and "then we'll record the information in our system," explained Wang.

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