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Northwest China Solicits Donations for Disaster Relief

Northwest China's Shaanxi province is seeking public donations to help the people affected by the severe flooding over recent weeks.


A total of 4.93 million people were victimized and economic losses were estimated at four billion yuan (about 480 million US dollars). Approximately 86 million yuan (10.5 million US dollars) was needed to evacuate 4.45 million local people from flooded areas, said officials.


Government officials said that more clothes and cotton-padded quilts were needed to help the people through the approaching winter. The relief operation required an additional 100,000 quilts,120,000 items of clothing and 6,000 tents.


The budget for disaster relief was very tight due to the huge affected population even though 20 million yuan (2.4 million US dollars) from the central government and 19 million yuan (2.3 million US dollars) from the provincial government had been already allocated.


Another reason for the tight budget was that the provincial government spent more than 50 million yuan (some 6.1 million US dollars) in the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the first half of this year, according to the government sources.


(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2003)

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