Discrepancy Found in China's Official Earthquake Donation Figures

May 27, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: May 27, 2008 12:00 am

A difference of 72 million yuan (US$10.4 million) occurred between the earthquake donation figures reported by China's two major disaster relief departments, observed a May 21 article published on Xinhua Net (www.xinhuanet.com).

The Ministry of Civil Affairs stated on May 19 that by 1:00 p.m. that day, the headquarters of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) had received donations totaling 990 million yuan ($142 million). However, the same figure announced by RCSC on the same day was 1.062 billion yuan ($152.4 million) tallied at 11:00 a.m.

“There is a major discrepancy between the donation figures announced by the two major disaster relief departments,” commented the report's author. “The earlier reported figure is 72 million yuan ($10.4 million) higher than the figure reported two hours later.”

“Is this discrepancy caused by different standards used in calculating statistics, inefficient communication of information, or some other reason?” asked the author.

“But anyway, such huge discrepancy in official numbers should not have occurred. If the authorities can not even get the basic statistics right, how could people trust them to properly manage and allocate donations?”