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Red Cross sees no dip in donations despite scandals

[ 2011-12-08 16:01]     字号 [] [] []  
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The total amount of public donations raised by the Red Cross Society of China this year was not that much different from previous years. Evidently, the Guo Meimei incident, which had put a big question mark on the country's most high-profile humanitarian organization in June, has not substantially reduced the amount received, although the number of individual donations might have been lower than before.

The donations collected through the society and all of its local branches stood at nearly 4.2 billion yuan ($660 million) this year and so far about 3.95 billion has been spent, according to statistics released by the organization on Wednesday.

Wang Rupeng, secretary-general of the China Red Cross, said: "The Society's Beijing headquarters collected nearly 600 million yuan this year and hasn't seen an apparent decrease compared to the average in previous years."

In 2007, donations made by the headquarters were roughly 630 million yuan, according to a financial report on the society's official website.

In June, 20-year-old Guo Meimei, claiming to have close connections to the China Red Cross, bragged about her luxurious lifestyle on her micro blog. The incident ignited widespread public mistrust and the organization was accused of donation abuse.

"Subsequent audits and investigations all showed that the society is unrelated to Guo, but the incident proved to be a lesson for us and caused an impact," said Zhao Baige, executive vice-president of the society.

For instance, private donations have become smaller this year, both in terms of the number of donors and the amounts donated, she said, adding that they were still analyzing detailed data on that.

Zhao Lizhen, head of the Red Cross Society of China Shenzhen branch, said the unfortunate incident in June, somehow, has, in the long run, worked out to their advantage.

This year, they have collected about 600 million yuan, no less than in previous years, except the years with major disasters like the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.

To improve the situation, the organization actively initiated charity programs like supporting poor students in Guizhou province, and inviting the media to track and report the entire process.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Red Cross sees no dip in donations despite scandals

About the broadcaster:

Red Cross sees no dip in donations despite scandals

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the US, including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.