A 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Ya’an, Sichuan on April 21 has left 186 people dead, 21 missing and 11,393 injured, 968 of them seriously. Oxfam staff is responding to the emergency and have already delivered the first wave of supplies to the region.
Zhai Fan, Manager of Oxfam’s Chengdu Office, said that the first batch of supplies arriving in the area includes 2,180 quilts, 57 tents, 500 sanitary kits and 108 sets of cooking utensils.
“We will work with local poverty alleviation officials since they can help us stay informed with the latest developments,” Fan said. “With the company of local officials and village representatives, we will first gain an understanding of the situation and needs of every household, and then we will brief the villagers on the usage of these supplies. Upon their consent, we will distribute the materials accordingly.”
Oxfam staff is preparing additional emergency relief supplies, including 185 rolls of waterproof fabric, 2,000 quilts, 1,000 sanitary kits and 2,000 mosquito nets. Feng Ming-ling, Manager of Oxfam’s Kunming Office said that waterproof fabric is a practical material for earthquake survivors because they can be manipulated into different forms of shelter according to people’s needs.
“Post-quake survivors are under a lot of mental stress – they have lost their homes, and their lives have turned upside down. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we help them restore their daily lives and their confidence in rebuilding their homes as soon as possible. There are enough materials inside our sanitary kits for a family of four. We hope by meeting their basic needs, we can help them resume a normal life soon,” said Feng.
Oxfam’s Kunming Office is collecting feedback from frontline field workers as well as information, such as types of relief supplies distributed, from government officials and other aid agencies. Oxfam will use all this information as reference when purchasing the next batch of materials. As supplies arrive in the quake-stricken area, Oxfam’s frontline workers will also carry out assessment in nearby townships and respond to those in great need.
Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in 99 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. Oxfam America is an affiliate of Oxfam. To join our efforts or learn more, go to www.oxfamamerica.org