The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has called on the pubic to donate cash and necessary items for those in the snow disaster areas of central, east and south China. The need for help was especially strong in remote poverty-stricken areas, it said.
The RCSC said in its appeal that disaster areas urgently needed food, medicine, quilts, winter coats and other supplies. Cash donations would be encouraged because of limited transportation amid the snow.
The RCSC has provided 8 million yuan (about 1 million U.S. dollars) worth of donations, including food, medicine, cotton-padded tents and more than 86,300 coats and quilts to support relief work in the worst-hit areas.
The society also urged its branches to start the donation and relief work immediately. The RCSC donation hotline is (010) 6402 7620 or (010) 6513 9999, and the renminbi donation account is 020 0001 0090 1441 3252. On-line donations are being accepted at www.redcross.org.cn.
The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL) has granted membership dues to support its members' disaster relief activities in nine of the worst-hit regions. The CCYL also urged members in disaster areas to help with disaster relief and emergency aid work.
On Friday, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government approved a grant of 8 million HK dollars (1.03 million U.S. dollars) from the Disaster Relief Fund for the Hong Kong Red Cross to provide emergency relief to snowstorm victims in the mainland.
The snow, the heaviest in decades in many places, has been falling in east, central and south China for more than a fortnight. It has caused deaths, structural collapses, blackouts, highway closures and livestock and crop destruction.
Amid China's worst snow disaster in decades, the Chinese leaders have shown the public a hands-on approach by visiting people working on the front lines of the weather crisis.
As of Friday, five of the nine Standing Committee members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the top decision-making body, had visited disaster relief workers or those working in mines and ports to provide coal for the power system.
(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)