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.
International agency Oxfam is preparing to send blankets and water proof sheeting as part of a $260,000 aid package to the earthquake hit area of Yushu County of south-eastern Qinghai Province in northwest China.
The supplies will be sent from Oxfam’s stock held in warehouses in neighboring Chengdu in Sichuan Province, and Lanzhou in Gansu Province. The agency has offices in both cities. Qinghai borders Sichuan and Gansu, and the epicenter was near the south-eastern border.
Oxfam is in contact with the local government of Qinghai and local non-governmental organizations, assessing how it can best help.
“The freezing weather is a great challenge to survivors of the earthquake, many of whom are impoverished. Night-time temperatures are dropping to zero degrees Celsius. Oxfam is planning to deliver thick blankets and water-proof sheeting to people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake,” said John Sayer, Director General of Oxfam Hong Kong.
An earthquake of a 7.1 magnitude hit Yushu County of south-eastern Qinghai Province at 07:49 am local time on Wednesday, 14 April, followed by a series of aftershocks. Official reports indicate that 617 people have been killed, 9,110 injured, and 313 people remain missing. The earthquake toppled 15,000 residential buildings, making about 100,000 people, mostly poor people, homeless.
Oxfam has previously assisted people in Qinghai in massive snowstorms in 1997 and again in 2008.
Notes to editors
Oxfam Hong Kong is a non-governmental organization based in Hong Kong and part of Oxfam International, a confederation of 14 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change.