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.
On 12 May 2008, the worst earthquake to hit China in 50 years destroyed lives and livelihoods in western China. Centered on Wenchuan in Sichuan Province, it also seriously affected people in the neighboring provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi.
Oxfam Hong Kong responded with relief work in the first few months following the disaster, bringing relief supplies to 125 impoverished communities and getting children back into safe, temporary schools. As of 31 March 2009, we have worked alongside 20 organizations in 3 provinces, supporting about 700,000 people as they rebuild their communities; allocation for these 37 relief and reconstruction projects total over HK$33 million (USD$ 4.3 million).
One year on from that terrible morning, the relief phase is over. Continued support is needed for some years to come, as millions of people have not yet returned to a ‘normal’ life, with permanent accommodation, an income, and a sense that they can plan for their future.
This report provides an overview of this first year of work and our achievements to date. It is part of Oxfam’s commitment to transparency and accountability both for our beneficiaries, as well as for our donors and the public.