Dept. of Bad Ideas


Al Jazeera reports:

Recently, [China] passed a regulation requiring major NGOs to transfer all donations for the magnitude 6.9 earthquake [in Yushu] earlier this year, and pass that money on to local administrators.

Officials say this is to better track—and better use—some of the $1.57 billion US dollars in donations that have come in to help victims. But such a move has never happened before, and this sets a precedent which some say is a step backward for civil society in China, putting NGOs firmly under the control of the government….

"We are rebuilding this city into a modern, environmentally-friendly city,' [Xie Xiaoping] said. "This means reconstruction efforts will require scientific planning and organisation. All government and private charity money will be used following our plans….Planning and reconstruction is not something up to individuals."

He appeared to confuse the type of work NGOs do, adding: "It is not for some person to say, 'I would like to build a hospital' and then you build a hospital. It is not for some person to say, 'I would like to build a school and then you build a school.'"