A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oxfam Hong Kong has distributed the first batch of relief items to survivors of the deadly earthquake – blankets for 2,000 people (500 families) in a temporary camp set up in a racecourse in the town of Jiegu in Yushu County, Qinghai. Yet, about 20,000 people are living in this camp, and the needs are urgent.
A second shipment of blankets for 2,000 more people is being flown from Oxfam Hong Kong’s warehouse in Yunnan to Xining, the capital of Qinghai, with sponsorship from Sichuan Airlines. These supplies are expected to arrive in Jiegu by tomorrow, 19 April.
“Oxfam Hong Kong colleagues and I slept in our four-wheel-drive vehicle last night,” said Aman Yee, Deputy Program Manager of the Rural Development and Disaster Management Team of Oxfam Hong Kong. “The temperature was at the freezing point. Survivors in tents urgently need blankets to stay warm, to stay alive. Oxfam Hong Kong is assisting 2,000 people in Jiegu so far, and tomorrow, we will assist another 2,000."
Another team based in Oxfam Hong Kong’s office in Chengdu, Sichuan, is now in Shiqu, a county in Sichuan also badly hit by the earthquake. They will soon distribute blankets for 2,000 people and rolls of durable waterproof fabric for 4,000 people as temporary shelter.
Aid workers adapt to high altitude
Zhai Fan, Manager of the Rural Development and Disaster Management Team of Oxfam Hong Kong, said, “Shiqu is 4,256 meters above sea level, much higher than Yushu, Qinghai (about 3,800 meters), and some Oxfam colleagues had started to develop high-altitude sickness: purple-lipped and very short of breath. They have now adapted and are able to work in the affected region. They have medicine on hand, and doctors are available, if sickness returns. The Oxfam team is currently planning an appropriate emergency response, together with the support of the local government in Shiqu.”
Oxfam has initial plans to spend HK$2 million (about $260,000) on relief and rehabilitation projects, and we appeal to the general public to please support us in this work.
Oxfam has assisted in previous emergencies in Qinghai, such as the massive snowstorms in 1997 and 2008. In Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi, Oxfam has a five-year rehabilitation plan in effect following the 12 May 2008 earthquake. Oxfam Hong Kong has worked in 29 provinces/municipalities/autonomous regions across Mainland China since it began its programs in 1987.
1. By direct payment
Send the bank-in slip to Oxfam Hong Kong
- HSBC: 047-834668-001
- Bank of China: 012-874-0-013040-1
- Hang Seng Bank: 284-401080-003
- Wing Hang Bank: 035-802-862123-001
2. By cheque
Cheque payable to “Oxfam Hong Kong”. Please write “Qinghai Earthquake” at the back and send to 17/F., China United Centre, 28 Marble Road, North Point, Hong Kong.
Donation Hotline: +852-3120-5000