ACT Appeal China: Assistance to Xinjiang earthquake victims - ASCN-31

Report
from Action by Churches Together International
Published on 17 Mar 2003


Appeal Target: US$ 437,519
Geneva, 17 March 2003

Dear Colleagues,

An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale rocked the north-western part of China on 24 February 2003, bringing devastation to a total of 9 counties in Kashen Prefecture and Xinjiang Urumgar Autonomous Region. Bachu and Jiashi are the two worst affected counties. Hundreds of people were killed, villages were flattened, water and power supply facilities were totally destroyed, schools, clinics and other public facilities collapsed.

A second earthquake measuring 5.8 Ritcher scale struck again the same region on March 12, creating more terror among the panic stricken people, and bringing further destruction to the affected communities. 80 percent of the homeless families have moved to either tents or make-shift shelters. However, in spite of all the efforts made, there are still homeless who do not have access to proper shelters and enough quilts. These people are suffering the intense cold and high winds in rough make-shift shelters made of plastic sheeting.

ACT member, the Amity Foundation, is already assisting the affected population with their own resources and is proposing to provide further assistance to 16,750 most vulnerable people through:

  • Food aid
  • Tents
  • Reconstruction of houses
  • Reconstruction of community infrastructure

Project Completion Date:
6 February 2004

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested


US$
Total Appeal Target(s)
437,519
Less: Pledges/Contr. Recd.
0
Balance Requested from ACT Network
437,519

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
UBS SA
PO Box 2600
1211 Geneva 2
SWITZERLAND

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address jkg@act-intl.org) of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

For further information:
ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org

Elizabeth Ferris
Co-ordinator
Diakonia & Solidarity
World Council of Churches
John Nduna
Acting Director, ACT
Robert Granke
Director
LWF/World Service

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.
The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.

I. REQUESTING ACT MEMBER

The Amity Foundation

II. IMPLEMENTING ACT MEMBER & PARTNER INFORMATION

Description of Implementing ACT Member

The Amity Foundation is a church related relief and development organisation aiming at promoting health, education, social service, rural development, emergency relief and rehabilitation programs. Amity is legally registered as a non-profitable organisation and has been serving the people in China for the last 18 years.

Amity has been engaged in relief work for the past 17 years and has established a nation wide relief network through its local partners and local churches. Amity handles 2 to 3 emergencies a year. In major disasters, it starts with emergency assistance followed by rehabilitation programs for a period of one to two years. When resources are available, it also initiates disaster mitigation programs to help reduce the effect of disasters on disaster-prone areas. Amity works in close collaboration with its local partners.

Description of Implementing ACT Member's Partner

Amity implements its relief and rehabilitation programs in close collaboration with the Overseas Friendship Association - a people's organization strongly supported by the Chinese government. It aims at promoting friendship and co-operation between Chinese people and the people overseas. In the past 12 years, the Association has been a close partner of Amity in the fields of relief and rehabilitation and has gained itself a comprehensive experience in relief activities.

III. DESCRIPTION OF EMERGENCY SITUATION

Background Information

A earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale rocked the north-western part of China on 24 February 2003, bringing devastation to a total of 9 counties in Kashen Prefecture and Xinjiang Urumgar Autonomous Region. Bachu and Jiashi are the two worst affected counties. Hundreds of people were killed, villages were flattened, water and power supply facilities were totally destroyed, schools, clinics and other public facilities collapsed.

Current Situation

Currently, there are frequent aftershocks measuring between 5 and 6 on the Richter scale, creating more terror among the panic stricken people, and bringing further destruction to the affected communities. All dead people have been buried and seriously injured people transferred to other places for medical treatment. 80 percent of the homeless families have moved to either tents or make-shift shelters. Fire engines are being used to deliver drinking water and the military are being dispatched to help dig out family belongings from beneath the ruins of the collapsed houses. About 70 percent of the homeless families have been assisted with a sack of flour, 2 quilts and a stove to help them cope with the severe cold and other hardships resulting from the quake. However, there are still about 20 to 30 percent of the homeless who do not have access to proper shelters and enough quilts. These people are suffering the intense cold and high winds in rough make-shift shelters made of plastic sheeting.

Impact on Human Life

The impact on human life is great. At this time of the year temperatures are between -5 and -10 degrees with snow, rain and howling storms. Those rendered homeless, with an average of 6 people per family, have to crowd in tents or make-shift shelters which give very little protection against the extreme cold. The provision of 1 or 2 overcoats along with 3 quilts are far from enough to protect a whole family from the cold.

Food is another problem - presently, smaller families are assisted with a sack of flour while larger families receive 2 sacks. This is barely enough to support a family for a month. The homeless families will have to rely on their flour that is now buried beneath the ruins of the collapsed houses. The homeless families will lack flour for about five months before the next harvest is due.

Reconstruction of houses will be a problem as the homeless families are very poor and were barely able to provide sufficient shelter for themselves before the earthquake. The affected communities are located in the least developed areas inhabited by Urumgar ethnic groups whose annual net income per capita is only about 800 yuan which is about USD97. The families are so poor that they have barely any possessions in their houses. The amount required for reconstruction of a house would be an astronomical and unattainable figure for them. Without external support, they may have to live in tents or make-shift shelter the rest of their lives.

The same problem will be encountered with regard to collapsed community facilities such as village water towers, schools and clinics. Villagers of a community are obliged to pay half the funds required to rebuild these facilities. As these villagers can hardly afford the amount required, the collapsed facilities may remain in rubble for many years. The villagers may have to use the unhygienic snow water stored in ponds all the year round and students may have to study in small badly lit tents, which are hot in summer and cold in winter. There will also be problems obtaining much needed medical assistance. In the long run, the basic life sustaining elements of life for the people will be degraded and even threatened.

Description of Damages

Exact casualties and losses in the 9 affected counties are not available yet. However, conservative statistics reveal that by 26 February:

  • People killed: 268
  • People seriously wounded: 2,058
  • People turned homeless: over 110,000
  • Houses flattened: 8,861
  • Houses seriously damaged: more than 9,000
  • Village schools destroyed or damaged: 103
  • Clinics destroyed or damaged: 16

In the worst affected county of Bachu, almost all water and power supply facilities were totally destroyed. The estimated direct economic loss in Bachu County alone exceeds 1.3 billion yuan.

Locations for Proposed Response

Qiongkuerqiake Township (one of the three worst hit townships) in Bachu County (one of the two worst hit counties).

IV. GOAL & OBJECTIVES

Goal: to help meet the basic needs of about 2,750 homeless families in Qiongkuerqiake Township, Bachu County.

Objectives:

  • to provide 15 kilos of flour to each of the 1,510 individuals in the 352 homeless families for 3 months (based on 6 persons per family)

  • to provide 2 quilts to each of the 2,750 homeless families

  • to provide 1 tent to each of the 100 most vulnerable homeless families

  • to help rebuild a house for each of the 352 homeless families

  • to help rebuild 2 water towers

  • to help rebuild 2 village schools

V. TARGET BENEFICIARIES

Number and Type of Targeted Beneficiaries

About 16,500 most vulnerable people in around 2,750 families in Qiongkuerqiake Township, Bachu County.

Criteria Utilized in Beneficiary Selection

Vulnerable homeless families

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