China funds quake recovery effort

24 June 2008

The Chinese government has allocated CNY 95 billion (US$ 13.6 billion) for quake relief and reconstruction efforts so far, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Vice Minister of Finance Liao Xiaojun was reported as saying it had originally planned a CNY 25 billion (US$ billion) budget for rescue and relief efforts. Almost CNY 10.8 billion (US$ billion) had been delivered by May 23.

The central treasury is to allocate another CNY 70 billion (US$ billion) as "reserves" for reconstruction in the quake-affected areas. This will be available over a number of years, added Mr Liao.

The ministry has also launched an emergency payment system for quake relief, which will enable funds to reach relevant departments as soon as possible, said Mr Liao. Further financial relief can be expected over the next two years based on "economic developments", he added.

Economic losses from the Sichuan Province earthquake, which hit on May 12, could reach CNY 400 to 500 billion (US$ 58 to 73 billion), according to the State Information Center, a think tank under the National Development and Reform Commission, said the report.

The magnitude 8.0 quake has killed over 69000 according to the State Council's Information Office.

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