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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Red Cross sees no dip in donations despite scandals

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

08:14, December 08, 2011

BEIJING - The total amount of public donations raised by the Red Cross Society of China this year was not that much different from that in previous years. Evidently, the Guo Meimei incident, which had put a big question mark on the country's most high-profile humanitarian organization in June, has not substantially reduced the amount received, although the number of individual donations might have been less than before.

The donations collected through the society and all of its local branches stood at nearly 4.2 billion yuan ($660 million) this year and so far about 3.95 billion has been spent, statistics released by the organization on Wednesday showed.

Wang Rupeng, secretary-general of the China Red Cross, told China Daily on Wednesday: "The Society's Beijing headquarters collected nearly 600 million yuan this year and hasn't seen an apparent decrease compared to the average in previous years."

In 2007, donations made by the headquarters were roughly 630 million yuan, according to a financial report on the society's official website.

In June, 20-year-old Guo Meimei, claiming to have close connections to the China Red Cross, bragged about her luxurious life on her micro blog. The incident ignited widespread public distrust and the organization was accused of donation abuse.

"Subsequent audits and investigations all showed that the society is unrelated to Guo, but the incident proved to be a lesson for us and caused an impact," said Zhao Baige, executive vice-president of the society.

For instance, private donations have become smaller this year, both in terms of the number of donors and the amounts donated, she said, adding that they were still analyzing detailed data on that.

The fact that the society still managed to raise funds comparable to previous years was because, as Wang puts it, "While the number of individual donors has gone down, donations by private enterprises have made up the difference to an extent."

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