WASHINGTON, DC, Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - Six months ago on May 12, 2008, a massive earthquake devastated southwestern China, killing more than 80,000 people and displacing nearly 15 million individuals in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, according to State-run media sources. The American Red Cross is supporting the Red Cross Society of China to implement an enormous humanitarian relief effort.
"The scale of the recovery process is massive. Five million houses need to be rebuilt and many emotional scars still need to be healed," says David Meltzer, Senior Vice President for International Services at the American Red Cross. "Recovery will take time, but the American Red Cross is committed to helping affected communities rebuild sustainably."
The Red Cross will focus on helping fulfill the need to construct tens of thousands of earthquake resistant homes, provide safe drinking water, and prepare communities for future disasters. Thanks to the generosity of donors who wanted to help the people of China, the American Red Cross will be contributing more than $50 million to support these recovery efforts.
In addition to funding reconstruction projects, the American Red Cross expects to help support the distribution of warm quilts, insulation and clothing to families living in temporary shelters ahead of the colder winter months.
"With colder weather approaching, it's critical that we provide families with the means necessary to survive the winter months," says Alex Mahoney, Manager for Disaster Programs in Asia, the Middle East and Europe at the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross Society of China estimates that full recovery will take about three years to complete. The American Red Cross stands committed to helping its sister society rebuild communities and lives devastated by this terrible tragedy.
For more information, please contact Eric Porterfield, Sr. Press Officer at the American Red Cross at +1-202-303-4194.
You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation.
- American Red Cross
- All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. The Red Cross also supplies nearly half of the nation's lifesaving blood. This, too, is made possible by generous voluntary donations. To help the victims of disaster, you may make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Or you may send your donation to your local Red Cross or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. To donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or contact your local Red Cross to find out about upcoming blood drives. © Copyright, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.