Premier Wen Jiabao disclosed Friday that in 2003 central budget funds totaling 8.03 billion yuan were spent on relief for people affected by floods, droughts, earthquakes or other disasters, up 63.9 percent over the previous year, and 2.79 billion yuan was invested in post-disaster reconstruction.
"We made all-out efforts to fight disasters and ensure adequate disaster relief, Wen said in a report on the work of the government at the opening of the Second Session of the Tenth National People's Congress.
As a result, proper living arrangements were made for people in disaster-afflicted areas, production resumed and reconstruction proceeded in an orderly way, he said.
Last year, the government further intensified efforts to alleviate rural poverty through development and invested more to improve working and living conditions in underdeveloped areas. Meanwhile, governments at all levels took the problem of wage arrears for migrant rural workers very seriously, worked harder to resolve it and achieved initial results, added the premier.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2004)