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Red Cross raises money to fund humanitarian projects

By Shan Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-11 07:37

The Red Cross Society of China has launched the Belt and Road Fraternity Fund to boost humanitarian activities and cooperation between countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang Ping, vice-president of the society, said on Monday that the fund has raised 70 million yuan ($10.1 million), most of which was donated by Chinese corporations.

"That would help fund Red Cross humanitarian projects in Belt and Road countries and meanwhile set up a special channel for Chinese enterprises to performance humanitarian duties," he said.

As China's largest humanitarian group, the society has positioned itself as a major platform for boosting people-to-people diplomacy, Wang said.

On Sunday, the society launched a first-aid and healthcare center in Pakistan's Gwadar Port, in partnership with its local counterpart, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society.

With a grant of 10 million yuan from the fund, the center will help meet medical demands along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a regional cooperation project under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang said that the medical project is the first to be supported by the Fraternity Fund, which was established to help advance the initiative.

As an international NGO, the Red Cross in China is flexible and suitable for fundraising and social mobilization internationally, he said.

The society can "better help rally nongovernmental resources and boost communication and cooperation at the individual level and is more likely to be well received by local communities", he added.

Currently, humanitarian threats such as military conflicts, natural disasters, big gaps in socioeconomic development and poor access to infrastructure are not rare in some countries involved in the Belt and Road, so "local demand for humanitarian aid is immense", Wang said.

To better address the needs, the Red Cross Society of China will further enhance its capacity, particularly in conducting projects overseas in fields such as crisis and disaster relief, and first aid, he said.

In addition, nonemergency assistance, like some community development programs, health, disease control and infrastructure construction are planned, Wang said.

Over the long run, he said: "Society is committed to eliminating the vulnerability of people in those problem areas and empowering them for self-sustainability and development."

As proven in many previous cases of humanitarian crisis, "the weak and vulnerable bear the most cost and loss", he said.

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