Yaan earthquake

Red Cross Society of China sees smaller share of donations after quake

Little more than half goes to oft-criticised charity as more donors continue to steer clear

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 5:22am

The scandal-plagued Red Cross Society of China has received little more than half of the donations to aid earthquake relief in Sichuan last week - a much smaller share than the government's premier charity has raised in the past.

By Saturday, the RCSC had recorded 570 million yuan (HK$711 million) of the just over one billion yuan donated to help survivors of the April 20 quake centred on Lushan county, The Beijing News reported. The remainder of the donations was split among 115 other charity groups.

By comparison, the RCSC received roughly 90 per cent of the 13.8 billion yuan donated in after the earthquake struck Wenchuan in 2008, the report said. Back then, private groups accounted for 1.4 billion yuan.

The figures appear to reflect lingering public distrust of the charity, which has been struck by series of scandals causing people to question how the charity spends its money.

The worst damage was done when a young woman named Guo Meimei posted photos of herself posing with luxury cars and carrying designer handbags - while falsely claiming she worked for the "Red Cross Chamber of Commerce".

Since the quake, the 115 smaller charitable organsiation have agreed to disclose information about their earthquake fundraising. That information is being posted on a website set up by One Foundation founded by film star Jet Li.

The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation topped the smaller charities, reporting 230 million yuan in donations. The One Foundation (107 million yuan) and the China Primary Health Care Foundation (100 million yuan)followed.