The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) raised over 74 million yuan (about US$8.9 million) worth of materials and money for disaster relief in 21 provinces in 2000, according to a RCSC official.
The funds were spent on disaster-relief goods such as rice, medicine, winter clothing and quilts, RCSC Vice President Wang Lizhong told the press Thursday.
Statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that over 1,300 people were killed and 170 million people affected last year by natural disasters ranging from floods, earthquakes, wind storms, and drought to hailstorms.
Economic losses caused by the disasters totaled over 160 billion yuan (approximately US$19.3 billion).
During the period from December 31, 2000 to January 3,2001, Xilin Gol and Xing'an were pounded by snow and sandstorms, which have been rarely seen in the past 50 years.
China Red Cross Society recently gave 1,000 quilts worth 55,000 yuan (approximately US$6,600) to help with snow disaster relief efforts in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
RCSC also allocated 1.6 million yuan (about US$193,000) for disaster relief purposes during the Spring Festival period from January 24 to 28.
(People's Daily 01/12/01)