China: Floods Appeal No. 05EA017 Operations Update No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

Period covered: 11 August 2005;

Appeal coverage: 22.4%(1)

Appeal history:

- Launched on 11 August 2005 for CHF 5,501,604 (USD 4,274,751 or EUR 2,525,539) for 9 months to assist 400,000 beneficiaries.

- Information bulletin 1 to7 issued.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 200,000

Outstanding needs: CHF 4,269,245 (USD 3,466,703 or EUR2,765,951)

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: China Annual Appeal 05AA058

Operational Summary:

With China's rainy season that has induced severe flooding since May, some three million people have become homeless in their own land. Those most affected have been the rural population, who have not only lost homes but also crops and agricultural land. While there the need for continued external assistance is constantly questioned, this week's events in New Orleans tragically demonstrate that vulnerability to natural disasters is not simply a matter of development, and complex needs can no longer be met through emergency response activities alone . Thus the RCSC, with its extensive number of branches, and the Federation, with its capacity to draw upon a global network of experience, is well-positioned to work towards improving communities' capacity to respond to, and more importantly, prepare for disasters. For this operation, the RCSC headquarters and Federation delegation are working with the RCSC branches to mobilize assistance to targeted communities while rebuilding the emergency stocks of the national society to enhance its resilience in disaster preparedness/response. The operation is initializing and planning with the RCSC is underway. Donors are strongly encouraged to support the appeal, which is still far from covered.


According to latest government statistics, floods in China have left at least 1,024 people dead and 293 people missing since May, as further landslides, severe flooding and typhoons continue to hit many parts of the country. An estimated 400,000 to 500,000 homes have been destroyed by the end of August, leaving some three million people homeless in rural areas.

As the country's flood season enters its fourth month, the number of homeless, dead and injured continues to rise. Over 27 - 29 August, severe rainstorms battered 172 townships in 11 districts and counties in Chongqing. It left six dead and three missing, while some 3,650 houses collapsed. For 2.5 million people living in the rural areas, the destruction of hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops will mean economic hardship in the months to come. Among the affected counties in Chongqing were Dianjiang, Liangping and Zhongxian, where the Federation delegation is already working with the RCSC Chongqing branch to implement a community vulnerability reduction project supported by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO). The project, which is also being implemented in Hunan and Guangxi provinces, focuses on assisting rural communities in flood-prone areas to develop community-based mechanisms for coping with and mitigating the effects of disasters on the health and welfare of these communities. The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) Chongqing branch, which responded to floods and hailstorms that battered the province over April through July, is once again gearing up to respond to the needs of flood-affected families by distributing relief items.

A few days later typhoon Talim struck eastern China. According to latest statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the death toll from typhoon Talim currently stands at 95 people. The typhoon has wreaked havoc in Jiangxi and Anhui, where RCSC provincial branches and the Federation have been already actively responding to floods that have struck the provinces over the past three months. Storms, flooding and heavy mud rock flow have followed the typhoon, destroying a mass of homes and crops. In Anhui province alone, which has been hardest hit by the typhoon, the death toll accounts for at least 59 of the total dead. An official with the Anhui provincial disaster relief office has further reported that the typhoon and its aftermath has destroyed 17,200 and damaged 61,100 houses and has affected more than 130,000 hectares of cropland. In Zhejiang province, the typhoon destroyed 11,789 houses.

China's much analysed economic expansion has been accompanied by questions from traditional donors as to whether or not there is a continuing need for external assistance. This week's events in New Orleans tragically demonstrates that vulnerability to natural disasters is not simply a matter of development, while underscoring the important role a well-prepared national society can play in alleviating the suffering of disaster victims. Increasingly erratic weather patterns around the world , as demonstrated by 26 December's tsunami in the Indian Ocean, this summer's floods in Europe and the prolonged frosts in Mongolia , are imposing greater and more complex needs that can no longer be met through emergency response activities alone. After the initial wave of good will, affected populations require an established and committed presence in the community that has the professional capacity to work with vulnerable communities throughout their recovery process.

At the same time, the reality is such that in the first few days immediately following a disaster, access to disaster stricken areas is limited and local communities are often in the position of having to fend for themselves. Recognising the essential role communities have in responding first to their own needs in a disaster, the RCSC, with its extensive number of branches, and the Federation, with its capacity to draw upon a global network of experience, are well positioned to work towards improving communities' capacity to respond to, and more importantly , prepare for disasters. Community-based disaster preparedness and health education activities are the means by which the RCSC and Federation delegation builds community capacities.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In China: Mr. Wang Xiaohua, , director of external relations department, Red Cross Society of China, Beijing; email:; phone: +86.10.6404.8366, fax +86.10.6402.9928.

In China: Mr. Alistair Henley, head of East Asia regional delegation, Beijing, email:; phone: +86.10.65327162, fax: +86.10.65327166.

In Geneva: Asia and Pacific department, Ms. Ewa Eriksson, East Asia regional officer, email:; phone: +41227304252; fax: +41.22.7330395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at


(1) The contributions list is yet to be consolidated to reflect the up-to-date response to the appeal.

MAP: China floods and Typhoon Matsa map

MAP: Typhoon Talim - Floods - Situation map

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