One Year On
Oxfam reports on its emergency and reconstruction projects
On May 12, 2008, the worst earthquake to hit China in 50 years destroyed lives and livelihoods in western China. Centered on Wenchuan in Sichuan Province, it also seriously affected people in the neighboring provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi.
Oxfam Hong Kong responded with relief work in the first few months following the disaster, bringing relief supplies to 125 impoverished communities and getting children back into safe, temporary schools. As of March 31, 2009, we have worked alongside 20 organizations in 3 provinces, supporting about 700,000 people as they rebuild their communities; allocation for these 37 relief and reconstruction projects total over HK$33 million.
One year on from that terrible morning, the relief phase is over. As a poverty-relief agency, Oxfam's task is not only to help lives return to normal, but to improve economic well-being and permanently reduce people's vulnerability to future natural disasters. In this task, Oxfam's priority is to assist the poorest and most marginalized survivors of the disaster: women, children, the elderly and ethnic minorities.