Public questions discrepancies in Red Cross quake figures

By Zhang Yiwei Source:Global Times Published: 2013-5-20 0:03:01


The public have questioned contradictory figures released for Lushan earthquake donations by the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The ministry released figures for the amount of donations which were lower than those of the Red Cross.

Wang Yong, a member of the RCSC's supervision committee, told the Global Times Sunday that the discrepancies in the figures are due to a mix-up over the dates and amounts collected intended to aid victims of the earthquake.

The ministry announced Friday that as of May 10, the RCSC reported cash and material donations of 134.51 million yuan ($21.9 million), and the Red Cross Foundation, a separate entity administered by RCSC had received 24.3 million yuan. These figures contradicted the one posted on the RCSC's Sina Weibo account on May 10, which said 159.27 million yuan had been collected. 

The RCSC Saturday clarified the discrepancy by saying that the ministry's release did not include the donations received by the foundation, while the RCSC's figures did.

However, Web users said that the two figures announced by the ministry still did not add up to the amount the RCSC claimed to have collected itself.

A press officer surnamed Yao with the RCSC told the Global Times that the ministry had garbled the data when matching it with the date.

The ministry explained Sunday that the 24.3 million yuan was actually the figure for May 9, and that the real figure collected on May 10 was 24.76 million yuan, which exactly matches the RCSC's figures.

However, the ministry had used the May 8 figure, according to Wang. The real figure for May 10 is 24.91 million yuan.

Wang said the foundation cannot directly report its data to the ministry, and can only do that via the RCSC.

Many Chinese have lost faith in the RCSC after a series of scandals, reflected in that many chose to donate to alternative charities. Actor Jet Li's One Foundation had raised some 285 million yuan in goods and cash for the quake as of May 12.  

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