German aid helps recovery in Inner Mongolia
( 2003-10-21 02:12) (China Daily)
The Sino-German cold disaster recovery project, initiated by China's Ministry of Finance and the German Government, has benefited 1.4 million people in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with the construction of new barns and wells for herders and rehabilitation of schools and hospitals over the past two years.
The project, following the severe snowstorm disaster in the region in the winter of 2000, was first started in early 2001 to finance local rehabilitation work.
The German Government granted 4.09 million euros (US$4.7 million) to the project, which covered an area of 406,500 kilometres and beneficiaries of 1.4 million, of which 56 per cent are people of ethnic minority groups.
So far, 432 new barns, 100 wells and 23 residential houses have been built for herders, along with the rehabilitation of 47 schools and 29 clinics. The project is largely finished except for some follow-up work to install equipment that remains to be done, officials within the Regional Finance Bureau said.
The project is expected to be finished at year's end, said Chang Junzheng, vice-director of the bureau.
It will provide local herders better medical services, education facilities and help them use advanced methods in ranching.
The German grant is not just about money, however, but about providing management, skills and demonstrating effects on similar projects, said Robert Haas, counselor and head of the department of Economic Co-operation and Development at the German Embassy in China,
He was on an inspection tour last week in Xilinguole League, one of the regions that benefited from the grant.,
Hass said he was "very satisfied'' with the implementation of the projects, and noted that during the process, all of the civil engineering projects and equipment purchases were done through public bidding.
The management of financial matters also was handled through KFW, the German bank that provided the grant and supervised the project.
All expenses involved were paid by local officials and then the disbursements were later reimbursed by the German bank, to help ensure the quality of the project and prevent misuse of funds, said Liu Chang, project assistant of KFW's Beijing office.
KFW, which is owned by the federal government of Germany, has conducted many poverty relief projects in China as well as some loan programmes in the energy, transportation and infrastructure fields.
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