China: RCSC's floods relief operation is in high gears across the affected areas

Originally published
The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) launched a national appeal for its ongoing floods relief operations in Beijing on July 18.

Since the monsoon season this year,in parts of the country have been suffering from varying degrees of natural disasters, especially since the end of June, Anhui, Sichuan, Hubei, Henan, Chongqing, Jiangsu and other provinces (municipalities)have been hit by severe rainstorms and floods. According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, up to July 16 this year, floods caused 105.448 million people affected, exactly 425 people dead, 110 missing, emergency relocated population 3.592 million; Crop disaster-stricken area of 6, 429,700 hectares, of which total destruction of 1,174,700 hectares; 369,000 houses collapsed, damaged housing 1.02 million, exactly a direct economic loss of 33.47 billion yuan.

In the affected areas now in urgent needs include?food, clothes,quilts, purification tablets and disinfectants,medicines and daily necessities. Meanwhile needs for post-disaster rehabilitation are very large. Red Cross Society of China has offered 15 severely affected provinces direct relief materials worth 10 million yuan. And also some relief work groups were dispatched to the affected areas in Hubei, Sichuan, Chongqing, Hunan, Yunnan, Anhui province to assess the disaster situation and expressed condolences to the victims.

RCSC calls on all walks of life in the country to take action and to carry forward the Chinese nation's traditional virtues to involve in emergency disaster relief and post-disaster rehabilitation, to help the victims overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homeland.

The RCSC also requests local Red Cross at all levels to take emergency action in response to flood disaster, and carry out the fundraising activities in accordance with the "Law on the People's Republic of China Red Cross Society," as well as the relevant regulations.

Local Red Cross Response

After the fundraising appeal launched by the Headquarters on 18th July 2007, the branches all gave response and actively carried out fundraising activities for the relief operations. According to the inadequacy statistics, by the 23rd July, Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Hainan, Fujian, Shenzhen, Wuhan provincial and city branches all launched fundraising appeal or provided assistance to the Red Cross in affected areas.

Of these operations above mentioned, the first batch of relief goods valued at more than four million yuan collected by the Shanghai Branch have transferred to six provinces and cities including Hunan, Yunnan and Guangxi and so on; Yunnan Branch also collected relief goods worth of two million yuan for the floods and waterlog areas in its own province; Fujian Branch donated disinfectants and antibiotics worth of 600,000 yuan to the Anhui Branch; Tianjin Branch donated 500,000 yuan in cash and kind to the Anhui Branch; Hainan Branch donated 20,000 yuan each to the Anhui, Sichuan and Chongqing Branches and 10,000 yuan each to Hubei, Henan and Jiangsu Branches; Wuhan Branch donated 50,000 yuan each to the Yichang and Enshi affected areas of its own province.

At present, the branches all are following the Headquarters' wok plan to actively participate in the relief work.

By the 22nd July, Hong Kong Red Cross has used 4.6 million HK Dollars for the relief work and sent representatives to the most affected areas in Anhui, Chongqing and Sichuan. Macao Red Cross raised more than 10 million Macao dollars to support the relief on mainland China.

RCSC leader visits affected areas

From 19th to 22nd July, Ms. Jiang Yiman, the Executive Vice President of Chinese Red Cross visited the most affected areas in Sichuan and Chongqing to assess disaster situation and to comfort victims.

In Sichuan, Ms. Jiang went to Dazhou City, one of the most affected areas in the province. The team headed by Ms. Jiang spent more than ten hours from Beijing to Dazhou. The early morning next day, they spent more than two hours by car going through mountain areas to the Qingning Town of Daxian County. Then they had goods distribution ceremony for the victims at centralized settlement area.

In Kaixian County of Chongqing City, Ms. Jiang with the team went to Jinfeng Township for relief goods delivery. They distributed rice, family kits, quilts and instant food to all the villagers in the Qingshan Village. During the recent rainstorm, the broad landslide of 20,000 square metres occurred in Qingshan Village. All villagers, in one night, lost their homeland and living materials which they depended on. Now the villagers seek refuge with relatives or friends for temporary settlement. The goods they received that day are most needed by the victims just as they lost their homeland. After the goods distribution, Ms. Jiang and the team paid a visit to some victims at their temporary places.

When interviewed by the reporter, Ms. Jiang mentioned that the disaster brought destructive hit and indelible spirit hurt to these victims. The team realized that the living issues, especially rebuilding victim's houses are big challenges to the local government.

International appeal

To support RCSC's relief operation, the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (Federation in brief) launched an appeal seeking $7.7million for assistance to affected 400,000 people and 2000 families house rebuilding. Before the appeal, the Federation provided emergency relief fund of 240,000 Swiss Francs for the disaster relief in Anhui, Sichuan and Hubei.

The relief fund will be used on purchasing rice, blankets, water purification tablets and disinfectants for 15,000 victims in three affected provinces.

It is said by the related person from the Federation that this assistance decided based on the joint investigation of National Headquarters and Hong Kong Red Cross.