BEIJING/HONG KONG, 14 April 2011 – 1 year ago, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Yushu Tibetan Autonomous County in northwest China’s Qinghai Province. In the year since the earthquake, UNICEF’s support has helped save countless lives, restore hope and create opportunities for emergency affected children and women. Among the generous donations received worldwide for the relief and recovery operation, the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF has contributed 65% of the total funds.
|Immediately after the earthquake, UNICEF’s support focused on responding to the emergency needs of children and women and protecting the lives of survivors, who were vulnerable to cold, hunger and psychological distress. UNICEF rushed warm clothing, wool blankets, medical equipment, hygiene kits, winterised school tents and school supplies to the emergency zone.
In the ongoing recovery and reconstruction phase, UNICEF is scaling up and enhancing culture-appropriate services as well as professional training for service providers. For instance, students havereturned to safe classroom environments with quality learning materials, Child Friendly Spaces have been established to provide community-based protection and psychosocial support services, maternal and child health services have been re-established and bettered, and hygiene and sanitation conditions in schools and communities have also been improved.
Highlights of the UNICEF responses in partnership with the Government include:
– 25,000 children provided with warm winter clothing, boots and blankets, and schools equipped with kitchen facilities to ensure provision of warm food.
– 7,500 schoolchildren provided with classroom tents 12 days after earthquake
– Installed 99 pre-fabricated classroom units, replacing the tents, to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for 4,500 students in the transitional period of 3-5 years.
– 21,500 schoolchildren and 800 preschool-aged children provided with educational and recreational materials, including student kits, Chinese and Tibetan language library kits and sports kits
|2. Child Protection:
– Established 4 Child-Friendly Spaces, serving 5,000 affected children, to provide psychosocial support and ensure a safe and caring environment for children to recover from the earthquake.
– Medical equipment provided to support the reestablishment of maternal and child health services, covering a population of 100,000, and 150 children and pregnant women in need of critical medical treatment transported in UNICEF-provided ambulances.
– Supported vaccination campaign resulting in 83% coverage
– 1,800 young children aged 6-36 months provided with micronutrient sachets.
4. Water, Sanitation and hygiene:
– 120,000 people provided with hygiene kits to maintain personal hygiene.
|To date, UNICEF has raised US$5.6 million (HK$43.7 million) and provided US$4.3 million (HK$33.5 million) for earthquake relief and recovery. This assistance was made possible through the generous support of donors, including the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, which has contributed 65% (HK$28 million) of the total funds received, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Japan Committee for UNICEF, the US Fund for UNICEF and others.|
Much work remains to be done after 1 year. Ms Irene Chan, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF said, “Massive reconstruction projects are kicking off after 1 year of relief and recover operation. To help Yushu completely come out from the effects of the quake and build a brighter future, there is still a long way to go. The Hong Kong Committee will continue supporting the Chinese field office in fulfilling its mission and reach out to the most vulnerable populations.”