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Update on the Situation in Sichuan Province

Children leave their temporary shelters to help Plan distribute emergency relief materials at Shang Li Township Central School.
Children leave their temporary shelters to help Plan distribute emergency relief materials at Shang Li Township Central School.
A teacher shows students how to use the rechargeable flashlight included in the emergency kits.
A teacher shows students how to use the rechargeable flashlight included in the emergency kits.
May 1, 2013

It's nearly a week after the Ya’an 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

“I want the school to be repaired as soon as possible, so that I can go back to school to learn knowledge,” said Yangyang, a   13-year-old boy who currently shares one tent with ten other people who have been displaced from their homes.

Yangyang’s school, Shangli Township, has been badly damaged by the earthquake. Several of the other schools in Lushan County have also been severely affected.

“Roads have been damaged frequently by the aftershocks and landslides, and it rained during the first four days,” said Wang Shaoping, the team leader of Plan's Ya’an Earthquake Response Taskforce. “At this stage, children need emergency items–especially underwear, sanitary napkins, potable water, and school bags.”

Following the earthquake, Plan quickly mobilized staff sending over 6,600 child emergency kits which include flashlights, raincoats, underwear, sanitary napkins, quilts, warm clothes, and children’s security handbooks. The emergency kits arrived in Ya’an City on the 23rd of April and were distributed to children in 20 schools on 24th and 25th.

After learning that there was still an additional need for the emergency kits, Plan prepared and sent a second batch to aid an additional 1,400 children.

Children are the most vulnerable group during emergencies, especially those who have lost family members. This is often due to the fact that the parent’s attention is often focused on searching for food and water, repairing homes, and salvaging possessions. With schools closed, children often end up coping with their losses alone while living in temporary shelters.

Plan is currently assessing children’s needs in the quake zone and once the immediate relief phase is over, Plan will work with the government on educational recovery and trauma support for children and teens.

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