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Charity insists money going to victims

(Global Times)

14:54, September 21, 2011

Following accusations it lost donations meant for families of the Jiaozhou Road blaze in Shanghai, the Shanghai Charity Foundation disclosed how it distributed the money on Tuesday.

Half of the donations, around 26.3 million yuan ($4.1 million), haven't been handed over to the fire victims and their families yet, according to information posted on the foundation's official website.

Around 455,000 yuan of the remaining money will be given to the victims and their families. Subsidies totaling 13.5 million yuan will go to residents who have accepted compensation offered by the Jing'an Construction Corporation, according to the foundation.

By the end of September, a total of 11.7 million yuan ($1.8 million) will be distributed through subsidies, it said on Tuesday.

The final audit results of the donation distribution will be announced later this year, it said.

As of September 5, the foundation and its district branches had received 54.6 million yuan from donors all over China. It was accused of losing the money earlier this month and families of a dozen victims demanded the donations in an open letter to the Jing'an district government.

The foundation denied the accusation on September 6, saying 28.3 million yuan worth of donations were distributed to the fire victims and the rest will be handed over as planned.

Each of the 156 household fire survivors has received a 20,000-yuan subsidy and 58 victims' families received 10,000 yuan more. Seventy-one survivors who were injured received an extra 5,000 yuan each.

Wang wants the foundation to give detailed information about the distribution of the donations rather than a figure.

Yuan Yulai, attorney for the fire victims who specializes in administrative law, however, was not satisfied with the information disclosure and said the Shanghai government is evading its responsibility.

"Comprehensive and thorough information about the funds distribution should be announced by the government instead of just as part of the information from one foundation," he told the Global Times on Tuesday.

As well as the Shanghai Charity Foundation, the Red Cross, Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau and Shanghai Senior Citizens Foundation also received donations for the fire victims. But none of them have disclosed their donation distribution information, Yuan told the Global Times.

The fire claimed 58 lives and injured 71 on November 15 last year.

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