April 25, 2013

CWS Emergency Appeal: Lushan, China, Earthquake

Appeal # 700-H
Appeal Goal: $180,000

Situation:

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit a rural area of Sichuan province in southwest China the morning of Saturday, April 20, affecting several Ya’an counties, including Lushan County, the quake’s epicenter.  The earthquake has affected 1.5 million people.  As of April 22, the death toll stood at 188, with 25 missing and 11,460 injured. 

Altogether 2,163 aftershocks have been felt in the epicenter area, and more than 60 percent of the houses have collapsed. The Sichuan government is reported as saying that at least 10,000 homes were destroyed. The quake cut power and communication lines and blocked roads, preventing rescuers from reaching hardest-hit areas, according to The Amity Foundation.

Amity and Church World Service are fellow members of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Through ACT, CWS is supporting Amity’s $1,818,803 program of response, which already has begun and will continue until April 30, 2014.  Four Amity Emergency Response Team staff have arrived in the quake area, where they and a long-time local partner (the Sichuan Zhigong Party) are undertaking needs assessment, purchasing of materials, coordination and distribution work. 

The overall goal of the CWS-supported response is to alleviate the suffering of 1,500 of the most vulnerable, resource-poor and severely affected families (6,000 individuals) who have been rendered homeless and/or lost at least two-thirds of their livelihood materials and who need help to return to a normal life as quickly as possible.  These are people living in the more remote areas of Lushan and other affected counties that are not in the limelight and, consequently, have received very little if any assistance. 

Priority will be given to women, children, elderly and poorest families and other groups with special needs.   Amity will identify the beneficiaries of its assistance in close consultation with the local communities. 

As of April 22, Amity already had purchased and partly distributed tents, bottled water, sausage, bread, instant noodles, mosquito-repellent incense, rice, cooking oil, plastic sheeting and quilts.  Around 1,000 families and 800 students have benefitted.  Wireless radios, electric flashlights and water purification appliances were on their way.

For the post-crisis period, plans are to provide assistance with housing, livelihood, reconstruction of potable water systems and psycho-social assistance.

CWS Response:

Church World Service support will help: 

  • Provide 1,500 families (6,000 individuals) with basic food items (rice, cooking oil) for one month, quilts to protect against the cold, and plastic sheeting as needed for those rendered homeless while they await tents.
  • Reconstruct 400 earthquake-proof houses.
  • Provide a small cash grant for 400 families to rebuild animal pens or restart their agricultural activities.
  • Restore eight drinking water systems.
  • Provide community based psycho-social support.

How to Help

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Donations to our emergency response efforts around the globe may also be made online. (Designate 700-H, Lushan, China, Earthquake Appeal).

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.