China arranges $1 billion for disaster-hit areas

Updated: 2011-12-15 17:00


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BEIJING - China has allocated 6.3 billion yuan (about $1 billion) in funds for the country's disaster-stricken areas to buy winter relief materials.

The funds were arranged by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, and the first sum of 5.04 billion yuan was distributed to several areas on Thursday, according to a statement from the civil affairs ministry.

The funds will be spent on food, clothing and fuel, all of which will be in high demand during the winter, the statement said.

Disasters including droughts, floods, earthquakes and landslides have affected many regions this year and caused serious losses and difficulties for local residents, the statement said.

It said that taking rising prices into consideration, the central government has decided to lift average food subsidies from the previous 50 yuan per person to 90 yuan.

The civil affairs ministry will also supervise local authorities to ensure that all of the funds are allocated in a timely manner, the statement said.