China

China: Floods Appeal No. 18/2003 Interim Final Report

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In Brief

Appeal No. 18/2003; Interim Final Report; Period covered: 22 July 2003 to 31 May, 2004; Final appeal coverage: 74 %.

Appeal history:

  • Launched on 22 July 2003 for CHF 7,932,000 (USD 5,770,000 or EUR 5,120,000) for 9 months to assist 440,000 beneficiaries.
  • Operation extended 2 months to 31 May.
  • Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 300,000
Due to the cash transfer system used in China there is some delay in producing the final financial report. It is expected that this will be available at the end of August.

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: 01.67/2004

Background and Summary

Background

Changes in the climate, deforestation and industrialisation are some of the many reasons attributed to the increasing frequency of severe flooding in China. Heavy rains, beginning in May of 2003 resulted in destructive floods and landslides which initially swept across 16 of the provinces traversed by the Huai, Yellow and Yangtze rivers. By September, some 150 million people throughout 26 provinces and autonomous regions were affected, sustaining flood related economic losses amounting to USD 7.89 million. 3.85 million people throughout the 26 provinces were forced to flee their homes and seek shelter in public buildings and makeshift tented settlements on dikes, with settlements sometimes extending for up to several kilometres.

Like China itself the dimension of the flooding is enormous , where the economic and personal damage sustained by one individual province affects millions of people's lives, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and causing millions of dollars in economic losses due to extensive crop and property damage. The damage in one province alone would constitute headline news in most countries around the world, with these challenges increasing exponentially with each additional affected province.

In recent years China's Ministry of Civil Affairs has developed an effective response mechanism to evacuate villages to higher ground or when available to temporary shelters prior to the arrival of floods thus leading to a dramatic decline in the number of flood related deaths. The Ministry of Civil Affairs is also able to provide some basic emergency assistance to a large number of those people who are displaced due to the floods, distributing items such as rice and tents. Nonetheless, the scale of the floods is massive and the needs exceed the means of any one single agency. The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) therefore has an important role working in co-ordination with the government at the provincial and local level to provide support to the affected population.

On 22 July, at the request of the RCSC, the International Federation launched Appeal 18/2003 for CHF 7.8 million to provide a family package comprising 100 kg of rice, one mosquito net and one quilt, valued at RMB 335 (USD 40) to 110,000 families (some 440,000 individuals) who had sustained substantial personal losses due to the floods.

The joint Red Cross Society of China (RCSC)/ Federation operation initially provided assistance in eight provinces. As the unusual wave of flooding continued through September and October into provinces which are normally not subject to flooding such as Shaanxi, the RCSC and the Federation identified nine provinces where the affected population were in the greatest need of support. These provinces were Anhui, Chongqing, Henen, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Jiangsu, Shaanxi and Sichuan. Additionally, the RCSC carried out relief activities in response to the 2003 country wide flood emergency using funds provided by the National Lottery Fund and the Hong Kong Red Cross. Responding to the floods in 2003 posed special challenges to the RCSC and the Federation as the floods struck just as China was beginning to emerge from the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that had gripped the country.

Summary

Improvements to the RCSC's operating systems in the areas of monitoring, finance and coordination both at the national and provincial levels resulted in the provision of relief items to flood affected beneficiaries providing comfort and support to the beneficiaries during the emergency phase and in the months that followed, reinforcing the society's evolution into a more effective relief organisation.

The RCSC's Federation supported flood response activities which commenced in July 2003, supported over 110,000 families by providing them with a quilt and/or a mosquito net, while a total of 6211.775 MT of rice and wheat flour was distributed to some 82,523 families. Monitoring visits conducted both jointly and independently by the RCSC and the Federation confirmed the satisfaction of the beneficiaries with the items , the quality of the items, and confirmed the appropriateness of the items identified for distribution.

The RCSC and the Federation's flood relief activities were made possible by support from the Austrian Red Cross, Australian Government, Canadian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, Danish Government, ESTEC, European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, German Government, Liechtenstein Red Cross, Monaco Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Turkish Red Crescent, Japanese Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross, Swiss government, and the United States Embassy in Beijing,

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In China: Mr. Xusheng Yang , Head Relief Division, Red Cross Society of China, Beijing),email; yxsyxsyxs@sina.com, (8610)640- 22- 601, fax(8610)640- 24- 577

East Asia Regional Delegation: Mr. Alistair Henley (HoRD), email;ifrccn01@ifrc.org; phone+86 1350 1205 972, fax+86-10-6532-7166

Federation Geneva: Mr. Satoshi Sugai, Desk Officer, email;satoshi.sugai@ifrc.org; phone +41 22 730 4237; fax+41 22 733 0395

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 http://www.ifrc.org

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

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