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The Parching of China> Backgrounder
UPDATED: May 17, 2009 NO. 20 MAY 21, 2009
China's Actions for Disaster Prevention and Reduction



3. Establishing an Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief Response System, and Improving Emergency Handling Capabilities

A disaster relief emergency response system has taken initial shape, with emergency rescue team system, emergency response mechanism and emergency fund appropriation mechanism as its main items. Emergency handling capabilities such as emergency rescue, transportation support, help with daily life, sanitation and epidemic prevention have been greatly enhanced.

—Emergency rescue team system. An emergency rescue team system has taken initial shape, with the public security forces, armed police and armed forces as the main and task force, with special teams such as flood fighting and emergency rescue, earthquake relief, forest fire, maritime search and rescue, mine rescue, and medical care teams as the basic force, with full-time and part-time teams attached to enterprises and public institutions and emergency volunteers as the backup force. The state's land, air search and rescue base construction has been accelerated, and emergency rescue equipment has been further improved.

—Emergency rescue response mechanism. The Central Government-stipulated responses to unexpected natural disasters are divided into four levels, which are determined by the degree of damage done. The concrete response measures at different levels have been expressly defined, and disaster relief work has been incorporated into a standard management process. The establishment of a disaster rescue emergency response mechanism basically guarantees that people affected by a disaster can receive aid within 24 hours. They are supplied with "food, clothing, clean water, temporary housing, medical treatment and schooling."

—Disaster relief emergency fund appropriation mechanism. A disaster relief fund appropriation mechanism of the Central Government has been established, including funds for daily life of those affected by natural disasters, funds for severe flood control and drought combat, funds for roads damaged by flood, funds for inland waterway channel rush-repair, funds for medical rescue, funds for culture, education and administration endeavors, and funds for disaster relief in agriculture and forestry. The disaster relief management system characterized by management of disaster relief by levels and funds shared by different levels is being actively promoted. Disaster relief input by local governments must be guaranteed so as to ensure the basic livelihood of people affected by disasters.

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