Relief for families hit by China earthquake

from Plan
Published on 25 Jul 2013 View Original

25/07/2013: Plan teams are delivering emergency relief to families affected by the earthquake which hit north-west China on Monday.

Over 58,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and more than 332,300 people have been affected in Gansu Province.

"Everything started shaking," says 7-year-old Li, one of many children who have been forced from their homes and are now living in tents with their families.

Plan deployed an assessment team to the affected zone the day the earthquake hit and is supporting 1,000 of the worst-affected households - including Li’s - with emergency relief kits.

Each kit contains a number of essential items - including toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and tinned and dry food.

Children most vulnerable

Government departments are leading the search and rescue efforts, while shelter and medical supplies for survivors are in short supply.

“Although the government has quickly accommodated those made homeless by the quake there is only one tent for every 2 families," says Gu Qinghui, Plan’s Disaster Risk Management Manager in China.

"We are concerned about the hygiene and nutrition situation for those affected by this disaster, especially children who are most vulnerable in any emergency.”

Rebuilding schools

Plan is appealing for donations to rebuild the 360 schools that have been badly damaged by the earthquake. Unless action is taken quickly, Li and more than 16,000 other children won’t be able to start school again in September.

"Continuing education is a key part of recovery for children who have been made vulnerable by natural disasters,” adds Sven Coppens, Plan’s country director in China.

"As part of our response we will also work with children and communities to reduce their vulnerability to disasters like this, supporting the development of safer, stronger schools and communities."