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We now turn to the severe drought that is affecting the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river.
Reports show that 34 million people in Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces have been affected by the drought. Of them, 4.2 million are experiencing difficulty in finding drinking water. 7-million hectares of farmland have been affected, accounting for 5 percent of the total arable land here in China.
As of Tuesday, the Three Gorges Dam has released some 18.8 billion cubic meters of water to ease the ongoing drought. Meanwhile, the ministry of Civil Affairs has sent out three work teams to monitor drought relief work in Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces.
Li Baojun, Director of Min. of Civil Affairs Dis. Rel. Dep't, said, "The Ministry of Civil Affairs has called on all civil affairs departments to help those in need such as the elderly and orphans. The ministry has also set aside 55 million yuan in relief funds to meet people's basic needs in Hunan and Hubei provinces."