China’s Red Cross responds to critics

BEIJING – The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), a government-sponsored charity organization, responded to netizens’ doubts about its donation information on Monday, a day after the RCSC launched an online database to provide more transparency.

The RCSC has publicized on its official website donation information on last year’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Yushu of northwest Qinghai Province, including the total amount of donations and the distribution of the funds.

The website has attracted more than 18 million visitors to check out donation information, as well as RCSC’s auditing and fiscal reports. Some visitors raised questions.

Some donators failed to provide complete personal information and the database is still operating on a trial basis, so there could be some inaccurate information, but the RCSC will provide help if a donator wants to verify his or her donation, the charity’s secretary general Wang Rupeng said.

Currently, people can only get access to information on donations to the RCSC national organization after January 11, 2010, whereas information about donations to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation (CRCF) and the RCSC’s local branches is not available.

According to Wang, the CRCF and the RCSC’s local branches are following the RCSC’s step to set up online database, hoping to publicize all the donation information in two years.

“Our objective is to inform the public of all the information on each donation,” Wang said. “But the current database still has a lot to improve, and we’re all ears to public suggestions to improve transparency.”


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