SCIO briefing on the work of civil affairs departments on COVID-19 control and livelihood security

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Monday morning in Beijing to introduce the work of civil affairs departments to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic and to secure people's basic livelihood. March 10, 2020


Charitable donations attracted much attention during the epidemic. We found that certain problems involving this subject, such as difficulty in making a donation and the allocation of donated materials, became a matter of concern for the general public. I would like to know the Ministry of Civil Affairs' opinion on these problems. Are there solutions to make the relevant working mechanisms better meet people's needs? Thank you.

Zhan Chengfu:

I want to say four things about this issue. First, in this epidemic, the broad masses of the people have shown great enthusiasm and support for charity. As of 24:00, March 8, the charitable organizations at all levels and the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) branches had received donations of 29.29 billion yuan, and about 522 million items of anti-epidemic materials. So far, a total of about 23.98 billion yuan and about 466 million items of donated materials have been distributed. This shows the charitable enthusiasm of the people.

Second, charitable organizations link donators with recipients.. Since the outbreak, all sorts of charitable organizations at all levels have undertaken a great amount of work to pool the strengths of society, and joined the efforts of the Party and government authorities to create a powerful joint force for combating the epidemic. 

Third, we can see that the operation capabilities of charitable organizations in response to the epidemic still need improving, especially when it comes to the issues which attracted public attention a short time ago, such as slow allocation of donated funds, imprecise allocation of donated materials, and slow, incomplete and opaque information disclosures. There are laws regulating relevant issues. However, there is still some way to go before charitable organizations consciously and fully abide by them.

Fourth, it has been shown in the epidemic prevention and control work that the government's ability to regulate charitable organizations needs further improvement. After certain problems emerged, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, as the regulator of charitable organizations, responded in a timely way. We dispatched working groups, drafted relevant documents, issued notices to charitable organizations, including the RCSC, accepted public supervision, and quickly achieved improvements in the relevant work procedures, thus turning around the situation caused by the previous problems. 

We will draw lessons from our response to the epidemic in order to improve our governance capacity for charity work in handling major public health events and serious catastrophic events. This is a big task and together we will find the solution. Thank you. 

Hu Kaihong:

We have limited time, so we can only accept two more questions. 

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