China: Floods Emergency Appeal No. MDRCN001 Final Report


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In Brief

Final Report; Period covered: 2 August 2006 - 31 July 2007; Final appeal coverage: 26%.

Appeal history:

- This appeal was launched on 02 August 2006 seeking CHF 5,950,200 (USD 4,825,791 or EUR 3,782,708) for 12 months to assist 240,000 beneficiaries.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 213,000

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals:

2006-2007 China Appeal MAACN001

2006-2007 East Asia Appeal MAA54001

Operational Summary:

Every year, China is crippled by various natural disasters. In 2006, natural disasters were responsible for the deaths of at least 3,186 people. Over 13.8 million people were evacuated and relocated, with 1.93 million houses completely destroyed. According to latest statistics provided by the ministry of civil affairs, flooding in 2006 had caused a direct economic loss of USD 24 billion (CHF 30 billion).

The Red Cross Society of China first responded to meet the emergency needs in Hunan province arising from typhoon Bilis. The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund allocated CHF 213,000 to initial relief distributions.

Through the Federation's China Floods Emergency Appeal (MDRCN001) launched on 2 August 2006, CHF 1.57 million was raised to provide additional support to beneficiaries through the national society. By the end of the 2006 flood operations, 48,815 quilts and 338 MT of rice have been distributed to the targeted provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi and Fujian. In total, it was estimated that more than 48,000 people directly benefited from the operation. In the early recovery phase, Federation supported the reconstruction of houses for 240 families in a minority ethnical township in Hunan province and 60 families in Jiangxi province. By the Lunar New Year in February 2007, the families have moved into new houses supported by the RCSC and the Federation. Federation also supported an RCSC community-based disaster preparedness programme in Lingxiu township, Hunan province, where the 240 homes have been reconstructed.


In 2006, China experienced an unusually early typhoon season. The first major storm, typhoon Chanchu, landed on Guangdong province on 18 May, 40 days ahead of the normal typhoon season. Close to one million people were evacuated in Fujian and Guangdong provinces, leaving at least 21 people dead.

Typhoons Jelawat and Ewiniar subsequently hit China's southern provinces, but it was the 14 July's tropical storm Bilis that had the greatest number of deaths and damage. This latest typhoon left 615 people dead and 209 missing, with close to 3.38 million people needing to be evacuated in Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces. It also swept away the livelihoods and homes of several hundred thousand rural farmers, completely destroying 1.3 million hectares of farmland.

Only ten days after Bilis struck, typhoon Kaemi swept through on 25 July. Over 1.3 million people were evacuated and 56,000 additional homes were destroyed. Kaemi also caused damage to 60,600 homes and affected close to 143,000 hectares of farmland.

The situation got worse with two further powerful typhoons. On the 3 August, tropical storm Prapiroon forced the evacuation of 844,000 people in southern China's Guangdong and Hunan provinces as well as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It left 80 people dead, destroying some 3,000 homes and damaging 140,000 others.

Typhoon Saomei, the eighth of a series of deadly typhoons and tropical storms, struck southern China on 10 August. Packing winds of up to 216km (135 mph) per hour, it was the strongest typhoon to strike the country in fifty years. Typhoom Saomei pummelled the country's eastern provinces including Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, leaving some 295 people dead and over 160 missing. It destroying thousands of homes and caused the evacuation of over 1.5 million people before hitting the country on 9 August.

Natural disasters in 2006 have killed a total of 3,186 people. Over 13.84 million people have been evacuated and relocated, with 1.93 million houses completely destroyed. Over 41 million hectares of farmland were damaged, of which 5.4 million hectares were completely ruined. According to latest statistics provided by the ministry of civil affairs, flooding in 2006 has been the most severe since 1998 and caused a direct economic loss of USD 24 billion (CHF 30 billion).

The losses due to the natural disasters only exacerbated the obstacles already faced by the country's rural farmers. Despite the rapid economic growth of the past 20 years and the governmental efforts to address the issue, extreme poverty remains an ever-present reality, particularly in rural parts of the country. Nearly 20 per cent of the world's poor are still to be found in China and 600 million people sustain their families on USD 2 (CHF 2.36) or less per day. Furthermore, some 23.65 million people throughout the country's 148,000 poorest villages subsist on annual incomes below China's own poverty benchmark of RMB 683 (CHF 101).

Few farmers have enough land to farm on and sustain a livelihood for the family. According to the nation's social security authority, about 40 million farmers lost their land as a result of rapid urbanization. Chronic natural disasters are putting additional strain on the country's limited available agricultural resources. Thousands of farmers are now finding theirs crops and small plots of land completely ruined. They are left with no choice but to go to the city and earn an income that will allow their family to have a roof over their head and enough food to eat.

At the same time, the women and senior citizens are left responsible for much of the agricultural work and for the care and well being of their families. They have to cope without adequate shelter and have to scrape together money for food, school fees and medical costs. According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2005 China Human Development Report, natural disasters are a major source of poverty in the country's central and western areas as well as mountainous and minority-inhabited regions. They also contribute to pockets of poverty in the more developed rural areas.

In China, the government takes the lead in responding to disasters both for the emergency phase and long-term reconstruction. Special emergency funding is allocated from the central and provincial levels. This supplements budgets held by the local authorities and the ministry of civil affairs, which is responsible for disaster response.

For longer-term recovery, the central government aims to ensure that adequate resources are available to repair damaged infrastructure. This includes roads, bridges, communications systems and public buildings, such as schools and medical facilities in the larger urban areas.

The challenges to recovery remain at the community level. The local government is charged with providing assistance to people who are displaced and are unable to support themselves. However, the capacity of the local governments to meet the full needs of disaster-affected communities is not uniform; it varies from province to province and from county to county.

Given the enormous scale of floods in 2006, the needs exceeded the means of any one single agency. As the only organization operating on a national scale in China, the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) therefore has an important role, working in coordination with the government at the provincial and local levels to provide support to the affected population.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

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

Federation East Asia regional representation In China: Mr. Carl Naucler, head of regional representation, email:; phone: +86.10.65327162, fax: +86.10.65327166.

Federation regional logistics unit in Malaysia: Mr. Ilir Caushaj, regional logistics coordinator, email;; mobile: + 60.12.628.2707, fax: +603 2168 8573.

Federation secretariat in Geneva (Asia and Pacific department): Ms. Ewa Eriksson, East Asia regional officer, email:; phone: +41.22.7304252; fax: +41.22. 7330395.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at