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CPC official praises NGOs' role in relief work
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08:10, May 27, 2008

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· 8.0 Richter scale earthquake hits SW China
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A senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official has hailed the "active and orderly" role of NGOs in the relief work after the May 12 earthquake.

Ouyang Song, deputy head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, said yesterday that the NGOs responded timely to the call of the Party and the government to help with the relief work.

The NGOs have "raised funds, helped treat the injured and carried out disaster relief and reconstruction work, serving as a bridge between the CPC, the government and the public", he told a press conference, organized by the State Council Information Office.

Encouraging NGOs' development so that they help the country's economic and social development is in line with the CPC and government policy, Ouyang said.

Yang Qinghai, deputy secretary-general of the China Foundation of Poverty Alleviation, said the immediate release of information on the disaster by the government helped the NGOs raise funds and take part in the relief work promptly.

Rising public awareness in volunteer and public service, too, added vitality to the NGOs performance in fighting the tragedy and helping the victims, Yang said.

About 130,000 People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers, 145,000 volunteers and 45,000 medical workers have taken part in the rescue and relief work.

Ouyang said: "Facts have proved that leading officials at all levels have organized rescue and relief work in the worst hit areas."

Ministries, State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and local authorities have sent more than 28,000 CPC members to help the quake relief work, Ouyang said. They accounted for more than 50 percent of the total force sent from other places to engage in relief and rescue work in the quake-hit areas.

Ouyang said the vacancies left by the deaths of officials in the quake will be filled within three months to ensure normal operation of government work in the disaster areas.

More than 17,500 officials at or above the county level and 2.3 million CPC members from across the country are working in the quake-hit areas, he said. And till midday yesterday, the CPC members had contributed more than 1.77 billion yuan ($253 million) as "special Party membership dues" to the disaster relief. Also, the Organization Department has given 100 million yuan.

To ensure that the funds are spent properly, a team comprising officials of five central departments, and led by the Ministry of Supervision, has issued special regulations on the distribution and use of relief.

The authorities will step up supervision and auditing of the funds and issue information regularly on how they are being used.

The Ministry of Supervision has announced the phone numbers and the website (8610-68301242 or visit www.audit.gov.cn) where people can report any misuse of relief funds.

Since the focus has now shifted from rescue to reconstruction, the minister warned local-level officials to avoid "vanity projects".

Source: China Daily

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