Hundreds of auditors in China quake zone to monitor resources

2008-05-29 11:53:19 GMT       2008-05-29 19:53:19 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) -- China has dispatched more than 300 professionals from the National Audit Office (NAO) and local audit authorities for on-site supervision of relief resources for the May 12 earthquake.

NAO officials said on Thursday that a leading team had been formed to guide the audit work, to be directed by the NAO's chief, Liu Jiayi.

According to Liu, audit work should be given priority to promote efficient management and the legal, transparent use of donations.

The central and local governments had earmarked more than 20.9 billion yuan (2.99 billion U.S. dollars) for relief as of Thursday noon, including 16.69 billion yuan from the national treasury and 4.25 billion yuan from local coffers.

Domestic and foreign donations stood at 37.3 billion yuan at the same point, including 27.99 billion yuan in cash already paid in, according to the Information Office of the State Council.

The Sichuan quake had left 68,516 people known dead as of Thursday noon and 19,350 others missing, as well as hundreds of thousands injured and several million homeless.

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