Massive earthquake strikes China – UCC rushes support to partners

May 20, 2008

On Saturday May 12, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southwest China. Relief efforts are underway as aid and support begins to reach those devastated by the earthquake.

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News at the Front Line 
UCC Partner, Amity Foundation
report from Chengdu

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Information is beginning to broaden following the earthquake in southwest China that has killed nearly 12,000. More than 20 provinces are affected. Officials with UCC partner and Action by Churches Together member, Amity Foundation report many buildings, including government facilities are collapsed or severely damaged, and that the demand on local emergency responders is great.

Local communication systems and roads have been destroyed, which complicates response as well as reporting information from the disaster area.

UCC RESPONSE

The UCC, as a member of Church World Service and Action by Churches Together supports the work of Amity Foundation in this disaster. We will also be supporting the response efforts of our partner Sichuan T.V. & Radio University through which Global Ministries and One Great Hour of Sharing have established several school-based greenhouses in the stricken area. 

Amity and Sichuan T.V. & Radio University staff members are assessing the damage from Chengdu and other affected areas.

Amity has already provided 1 million Yuan (approximately US$143,000) for the purchase and provision of drinking water and food for heavily-damaged Du Jiangyan. Working with local partners in each province, relief operations are expected to expand to include:

• Counties of Wenchuan, Lixian, Beichuan, Maoxian, Dujiangyan, and Mianzhu in Sichuang Province

• Longnan city in Gansu Province

• Baoji city and Hanzhong city in Sha'anxi Province

The areas of Gansu and Sha'anxi, especially Sichuan are being targeted as they are the most severely affected areas, which induced large losses. Amity will focus its relief on approximately 8,000 families whose homes are destroyed and are among the most-vulnerable communities. In this crisis phase, Amity expects to ensure:

• 16,000 of the most vulnerable individuals have sufficient food (15 kilos of rice/person) to tide them over the immediate emergency period of food shortage.

• 8,000 poor families have sufficient added protection through the provision of a quilt.

• 8,000 homeless families have sufficient added protection to survive the bad weather conditions (weather forecast shows that heavy rains is expected in following two days in quake center areas) through the provision of a sheet of plastic cloth.

Following the crisis, Amity will assist in re-building by assisting with:

• Rehabilitation of 600 houses that were destroyed or severely damaged

• Construction of 10 schools

• Rebuilding five hospitals or clinics

• Rehabilitating five drinking water or irrigation systems

Sichuan T.V. & Radio University, where Doug & Elizabeth Searles recently completed six years as Global Mission service, is expected to utilize their extensive communication capacity and local community networks to respond to this disaster.  Details will be posted as they are received.

One Great Hour of Sharing has already sent funds to Amity to carry out relief work. However, we urgently need to raise $100,000.  Please give generously.

How to Help:

1.  Pray for the people of China, their leaders and emergency and humanitarian aid workers.

2.  To assist impacted Chinese families, you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for "OGHS International Emergency Fund/China Earthquake" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.

OR

Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "OGHS International Emergency Fund/China Earthquake" to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.

OR

Make a secure online donation to the OGHS International Emergency Fund – note China Earthquake in comments section.

Thank you for your compassion and support.

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