China received 4.074 billion yuan-worth of donations during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
So far, 3.245 billion yuan has been distributed and 829 million yuan-worth of donations was left over,with the cash transformed to a special account.
Yang Yanyin, vice-minister of Civil Affairs, told a news conference here Thursday that they are preserving the remaining donations for future use and promised that the ministry will make good use of it.
"Besides the prevention and treatment of SARS, the leftover donation will be used to set up a medical aid fund, improve the rural Medical care system and aid people in need," said Yang.
Of the total, the civil affairs departments received 1.49 billion yuan, while the health departments received 1.47 billion yuan, the Red Cross Society of China and its local branches, 636 million yuan, and the China Charity Federation and its local branches, 273 million yuan.
More than half of the donations came from companies and individuals in the mainland of China.
These donations were mostly used in treating SARS patients and suspects, aiding them and their families, buying prevention facilities for the poor, and providing subsidies to medical workers.
To ensure good management of the donations, the ministry has registered each bill of donation and made clear the use of each cent, said Yang.
To encourage firms and individuals to donate, the state also adopted preferential tax policies, allowing donors to deduct the donation from their taxable income. As for overseas donations, the state exempted tariff and value-added taxes during the import.