For the first time, China’s Red Cross has distributed money to non-governmental organizations to help with the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake relief efforts. From Reuters’ Lucy Hornby:
Individuals, corporations and overseas chapters donated 19.05 billion yuan ($2.79 billion) to the Red Cross Society of China to help rebuild after the May 12 earthquake killed more than 80,000 people and left at least 5 million homeless in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.
The Red Cross in turn disbursed 20 million yuan to non-government organisations in an unprecedented recognition that government alone could not solve all of society’s problems.
“It was a real change for us. Before, we tried to do everything ourselves, but we didn’t have enough people,” executive vice president Jiang Yiman told Reuters in an interview at China’s annual legislative meeting.