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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: July 5, 2008 NO. 28 JUL. 10, 2008
Transparent Relief
Government auditors are ensuring China's earthquake aid reaches the people in need

On June 1, the Ministry of Civil Affairs implemented information disclosure on the management of quake relief funds and goods, specifying the items that must be disclosed. In the meanwhile, the Central Government ordered its departments to cut their budgets by 5 percent this year to help with disaster relief.

On June 13, in its first bulletin on earthquake relief audit results, the National Audit Office exposed three violations, including a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China that bought expensive Nike shoes with special funds for quake relief.

On June 24, the second bulletin on earthquake relief audit results was published. In it the National Audit Office listed four types of problem that had arisen in the use of funds. It said in some cases relief policies were not being properly implemented. For instance, the Central Government stipulated that a victim with no home, fixed income and means of production was to be provided with 10 yuan ($1.45) and half kg of grain per day. This policy had not been implemented in a few towns because of difficulties in transportation, communication and information collection. Due to double counting of disaster damage, a few villages may have been granted extra funds and grain.

Because of the large amount of funds and goods donated in a short time span and the inexperience of some local governments in handling relief supplies, an overstock of supplies occurred in a few places. According to Liu, the initial chaos was soon over, management was improved, and supplies were provided to the people in need.

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