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Charity machine rolls into action
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Donations have been pouring in to help those worst hit by the recent snowstorms.

Bank of China said it will donate 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) to aid regions stricken by the snow and mobilize all of its branches nationwide towards that cause.

The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, a nongovernmental organization, has donated 50,000 yuan in cash, more than 1,000 overcoats and 500 blankets to Anhui province, one of the most affected areas.

SinoSteel Corp, the country's largest State-owned iron ore trader, yesterday gave 1 million yuan to the Red Cross Society of China.

"Large State-owned firms should pay great attention to their corporate social responsibility, especially during such hard times," Huang Tianwen, president of Sinosteel, said.

The China operation of German conglomerate Siemens Ltd said yesterday it will help by donating 100,000 yuan to the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation.

The company will also call for its staff to donate clothes and other necessities.
"China has been the cornerstone of our growth in the past few years," Richard Hausmann, president and CEO of Siemens Ltd China, said.

"We, therefore, cannot be separated from the country we do business in. It is the time we contributed back to the society."

In Guangzhou, the city's civil affairs department said that it has received donations totaling more than 6.1 million yuan over the past three days.

In the past days, hundreds of thousands of passengers have been left stranded due to the disruption of the transport system following the snowstorms,

The quilts, blankets, overcoats, raincoats, food and other necessities donated by local companies and individuals will soon be distributed to the people stranded in the province, officials said.

Police, railway staff and related personnel are also working on the frontline of the support campaign to transport people home for the lunar new year.

Similarly, the Guangzhou Automobile Group donated 800,000 yuan in cash, plus 300,000 yuan worth of necessities.

Officials from the Guangdong provincial department of civil affairs have urged local companies and residents to do what they can to help victims of the snow.

"Guangdong will not allow a single person to freeze to death or die of hunger," the officials said.

The provincial civil affairs department has so far sent out three task forces to the cities of Guangzhou, Shaoguan and Qingyuan, which have been seriously hit by the snow and cold front, to help with relief work.

Figures from the department show more than 1.84 million people have so far been affected by the weather in the province, with 231,000 having to be evacuated from snow-stricken areas over the past week.

The direct economic loss caused by the bad weather has reached 1.1 billion yuan, officials said.

(China Daily February 1, 2008)


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