BEIJING - The Chinese government on Monday sent special work teams to central Hunan and Hubei provinces to direct local drought relief work as the spring drought, the worst in the past 50 years, continued to plague the Yangtze River's downstream provinces.
In a Monday statement, the Ministry of Civil Affairs urged local civil affairs departments to map out detailed plans for drought relief and estimate the number of people in need of government aid, especially drinking water.
Local civil affairs departments were also told to provide financial support for local farmers whose incomes from crops and livestock were reduced by the drought.
With this year's lowest level of rainfall since 1961, the severe drought has been affecting both irrigation and water supplies in Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei provinces, in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest river.
The work teams were jointly sent by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the National Committee for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Finance.