As Red Cross Probe Stumbles, Critics See Red

In response to widespread public distrust in the Red Cross Society of China after the 2011 Guo Meimei scandal and accusations of disaster relief fund mismanagement during the 6.6Mw Sichuan earthquake in April, a special committee was established to investigate the charity’s finances. However, the committee itself has come under fire as critics question its oversight process and the integrity of its members. From Caixin Online:

Red Cross officials were granted the power to pick each committee member, and then picked up the tab for all its work, including expenses tied to investigating the charity’s books. Critics say the arrangement made it impossible for the committee to function independently and, thus, get the Red Cross back on track financially and in the public eye.

[…] The special committee’s 16 members work in the fields of law, finance, communications, medicine and emergency services. They were given several responsibilities, such as overseeing project spending and financial receipts, including donations; making the committee’s annual or special reports available to the public; surveying the public for overall views toward the Red Cross and its work; and advising the agency on strategy and planning issues.

But the committee had barely gotten off the ground when critics started focusing on the member-selection and payment procedures. Skeptics said the committee’s independence could not be guaranteed given the way members were selected and the operation of the committee was financed by the Red Cross.

Additional questions posted on the Internet took aim at individual members of the committee, accusing some of accepting the position inappropriately because of their close relations with the Red Cross. [Source]

Click through for prior CDT coverage on the Red Cross.


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