Plan Reaches Out to Quake-Affected Children in Sichuan Province
Plan China has started its emergency response in quake-affected Sichuan province.
Dozens have died and the death-toll is likely to rise as the 6.6–magnitude quake caused widespread destruction in Sichuan’s Lushan County on Saturday. The Chinese government has declared the highest level of state emergency.
Plan's Country Office Sends Aid
Plan’s country office has begun the process to move pre-stocked disaster relief packs–especially designed to accommodate children’s needs, to the affected area. There are over 6,000 hygiene packs stocked in Plan’s Beijing office for emergency relief, including 2600 packs tailored for girls’ needs, and 1500 items of clothing. Tents to provide temporary shelter are also being sent as part of the relief supplies.
“Meeting the needs of children is an urgent priority of our emergency response. There would be affected children in outlying and difficult to reach rural areas,” said Plan China Country Director Mark Leighton.
Even though Sichuan is not among Plan’s program areas in China, the organization is prepared to reach out to the affected population, particularly children, given the scale of the disaster. A team of emergency experts is being sent to the worst affected zones.
Plan has, over the last few years, strengthened its disaster response and preparedness capacity in China and will supplement the efforts of the Chinese government and the local authorities in the earthquake response. The organization is also attending coordination meetings with the local government and other humanitarian agencies.
The last major earthquake in Sichuan was in 2008. It killed tens of thousands and left 5,000,000 homeless.
“Repeated earthquakes hit affected people’s minds hard and children, particularly, are most vulnerable,” said Unni Krishnan, Plan’s Head of Disaster Response and Preparedness.
Plan has been working in China since 1995 helping poor children to access their rights to health, education, livelihoods and protection.