China Focus: Int'l aid plays significant role in post-quake reconstruction

CHENGDU, May 12 Xinhua -- Shiyan village in southwest China's Sichuan Province spent years in recovery after the magnitude 8 earthquake in 2008 hit the province.

Hundreds of hectares of landslide areas caused by the earthquake are now covered with fruit trees in Shiyan, Beichuan County, one of the worst-hit areas during the earthquake.

The change came after a cooperation program was launched in 2010 between the Chinese and Japanese governments to restore vegetation in quake-hit areas.

The program introduced a method of putting soil bags on landslide areas to prevent water and soil erosion.

"The method introduced by Japanese technicians was proven effective in the soil erosion prevention and local vegetation recovery in Beichuan," said Zhu Chenglin, deputy director of the county's forestry department.

By 2013, a total of 22 hectares of landslide areas has restored vegetation in Shiyan.

Over the past decade after the earthquake, China has also been working with international organizations for reconstruction of devasted areas.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has been focusing on efforts to reduce disaster impact on children and help them recover from the trauma of the earthquake.

"Children are affected by disasters in many ways, from death, injuries, and diseases related to malnutrition, to poor water and sanitation, and psychological trauma and its debilitating effects," said Douglas Noble, UNICEF deputy representative to China, at a forum in commemoration of the Wenchuan earthquake, on Wednesday.

In 2015, UNICEF China and several agencies of the Chinese government launched a disaster risk reduction program in Sichuan, aiming to help make children, families and communities less vulnerable to and better prepared for disasters.

In the three years following the quake, UNICEF provided nearly 42 million U.S. dollars in support for earthquake recovery and reconstruction, according to the organization.

"We will continue working with government counterparts and bring our international experience to disaster risk deduction," Noble said.

"The international cooperations greatly help China tackle many technical problems in the post-quake reconstruction of devasted areas," said Gu Linsheng, an official with the Sichuan provincial disasters relief committee.