This report covers the
period 1 January to 31
The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has officially started a comprehensive reform process since July 2012. The Chinese Government has shown extraordinary support to the reform, including actions such as supporting RCSC grassroots level organizational development as a pilot model for social service reform, prioritization by the Congress of RCSC law modification, and a statement issued by the State Council detailing an implementation guideline to all the government departments to support RCSC reform. A task force of RCSC reform was set up and wide stakeholder involvement has been a key to the output of this task force, which will be an overall reform plan for the RCSC. The IFRC and ICRC have been invited to participate in many important meetings and the IFRC has one member on the task force.
In 2012, various natural disasters this year, which left 1,338 people dead in China, 290 million people affected, over 10 million people evacuated, 900 thousand houses collapsed and created over 400 billion yuan (approx. 67 billion dollars) in direct economic losses. China has mainly been hit by natural disasters of earthquakes, drought and heavy rainfall/floods. With the support of IFRC, the National Society (NS) has responded to the disasters in more efficient and systematic ways. The emergency response teams, with the support of the IFRC East Asia regional delegation (EARD), have been mobilized more often in 2012 than in past years.
Heavy rainfall - On 21 July 2012, Beijing was hit by the heaviest rain storm in 61 years, which left at least 37 people dead. The rains caused extensive damage to roads, bridges, thousands of houses and buildings and to hundreds of vehicles. The flood also submerged some power supply facilities and led to blackouts in some areas of the city.
Besides relief items, Beijing Red Cross teams continued to offer support and comfort to shocked survivors and searched for those possibly still trapped in the water. A Beijing Red Cross 999 Emergency Response team was sent to Fangshan area to rescue people trapped by the floods and help care for some of the more than 65,000 people evacuated from their homes. Hundreds of ambulance crew members and volunteers were involved in the relief operations. The specialized Beijing Red Cross Blue Sky Rescue Team was also sent to search and rescue flood-affected people, and over 200 affected people were rescued by this team.
Yunnan Earthquakes – Yunnan province alone had been hit by two earthquakes in 2012.
One in June left 130,000 people affected, four people dead and 153 people injured. Both the RCSC headquarters and the Yunnan branch sent relief items immediately after the disaster.
Another Richter scale magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck an area straddling Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces on 7 September 2012. The quake left 81 dead, 821 persons injured and 201,000 evacuated.
RCSC national emergency response team on mass sanitation and a team on rescue were deployed. The national Mass Sanitation Emergency Response Team (ERT) from Yunnan consisting of 10 members built up sanitary latrines and conducted hygiene promotion for around 600 reallocated villagers. Volunteers were also mobilized to collect garbage in the temporary settlement area to avoid disease outbreak. Alongside with major duties in mass sanitation, they also set up a generator for cell phone recharging and a camp light for illumination.
Provincial branches including Guangxi, Shandong, Qinghai, Chongqing, Guangdong, Sichuan and Yunnan itself as well as Hong Kong and Macao Red Cross have also delivered relief items and emergency funds.
The IFRC regional disaster management team, with contributions of experts from the zone office, have been able to support the RCSC in developing capacities in both planning and organizational preparedness. There have been great strides in the past months on further consolidating and supporting the RCSC’s emergency relief team development and agreements on establishing national disaster response teams at the headquarters level. Further work has been done on the grassroots level of community disaster risk reduction in Shaanxi and Gansu.
The IFRC continues to work very closely with RCSC headquarters to support their initiatives and activities in the areas of health and care. The RCSC has stepped up their advocacy on issues of HIV, and have had a very successful pilot project on tuberculosis in Shanxi province, supported by Lilly China. The community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) initiatives of the RCSC are also expanding and fulfilling a needed role for better integration, capacity building, service delivery and a platform for health interventions at community levels.