2010 a very charitable year: Report

08:59, April 27, 2011      

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The country's top think tank said on Tuesday that donations hit 70 billion yuan ($10.7 billion) last year, more than double the year before.

"The year 2010 has seen a quantum leap in the number of big donations," said Zheng Yuanchang, who oversees charity work at the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Zheng, one of the authors of what is known as the Blue Book of Philanthropy, said the figure is partly due to an outpouring of generosity after a series of natural disasters in 2010, such as a mudslide in Gansu province and severe drought in Southwest China.

The year 2009 saw fewer donations as donors were cash-strapped due to the financial crisis, though this year's tally was still behind 2008, when the devastating Wenchuan earthquake triggered record donations of 100 billion yuan.

Zheng said that donations of more than 100 million yuan were made 60 times last year.

According to the report, the number of non-government organizations focusing on charity in China hit 439,000 in 2010, with more than 31 million volunteers.

Zhu Jinchang, chief of the social policy research center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which published the report, said on Tuesday that the country's charity development is stable and public awareness about charity and wealth has improved in recent years.

"Charity is not about cracking down on the rich and distributing their wealth among the poor, and Chinese people are getting to know the new benevolent culture," he said.

Cao Dewang, president of Fuyao Group, who was named China's biggest philanthropist on Tuesday, donated 200 million yuan to the drought in Southwest China last year and spurred media debate for the strict requirements on his donations.

"We need a more transparent management mechanism on charity, and I want every penny of my donated money to be spent for those who really need it," Cao told China Daily on Tuesday.

Source: China Daily
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