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Deployment of supplies
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Three-tier system for distributing relief supplies

Since the Wenchuan earthquake, relief supplies from all over China have poured into the quake hit areas of Sichuan. But are supplies getting through to the people who need them? How well are local authorities managing their distribution?

Yesterday, a reporter visited the main relief warehouse in Shifang City to see how their system works.

Volunteers refused supplies without proper authorization

On May 20, a volunteer went to the Blue Sword Drinks Warehouse in Shifang City, where relief supplies from all over China are stored and distributed. Zhang Hong was quarreling with Wang Zhengde, secretary of Shifang Civil Affairs Bureau, who is responsible for deployment of the supplies.

“We cook meals for the troops all day long, and we’re running out of rice and oil. The radio says we can get supplies here. But we’ve been here twice and got nothing. Why don’t you make it clear what we have to do?” Zhang Hong said, dashing away tears.

Wang Zhengde has been manning the reception desk all day. His voice is hoarse. “You have to follow the rules. The head of your site has to come with you. Unless you follow procedure you’ll get nothing,” said Wang Zhengde waving his finger in the air indicating a firm “no” to Zhang Hong.

Deployment manager Deng Jiayi explained. First, the head of a disaster zone has to make out a list of what is needed. Then, after confirmation by the deployment site, the distribution department will dispatch the supplies.

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