China Earmarks RMB 500 mln for Yunnan Drought Relief
China's Ministry of Finance said on Feb. 29 that it appropriated an emergency fund of 500 million yuan (79.47 million U.S. dollars) to help the drought relief in southwestern Yunnan province.
Since December 2011, persistent drought in Yunnan has affected people in 15 prefectures and municipalities, leaving 3.19 million people and 1.58 million livestock short of drinking water, according to the provincial government.
The fund will be dedicated to the province's drought relief efforts, including securing food and drinking water supplies for people in drought-stricken areas, purchasing equipment for fighting against the drought and subsidizing agricultural activities, the ministry said.
The ministry urged the local government to step up appropriating the fund and set up an effective system to supervise its use.
Drought resulting from low rainfall in the past three years has seen 273 rivers and 413 small reservoirs dry up in Yunnan.
The drought also increased fire alerts for the province, with more than 2 million mu (133,333 hectares) of forests and 8.2 million mu of crops placed at risk.