China Earthquake: Oxfam reaching remote areas

Emergencies, Media Releases article written on the 16 May 2008

HONG KONG – Oxfam’s relief and rehabilitation operation in southwest China’s provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi is focusing on assisting survivors of Monday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake in remote, rural areas.
Oxfam’s Sichuan team reports a severe shortage of drinking water in Chengdu, the province’s capital city. Oxfam is conducting assessments and securing emergency supplies, including from neighbouring provinces.
The agency is working closely with the Civil Affairs Department, the Poverty Alleviation Office, and several mainland-based NGOs.
The Oxfam Hong Kong team in Gansu reports that the cellular phone system is down in Wudu County. Another team is working in Wen County. Both areas were badly affected by the earthquake.
Oxfam Hong Kong director general John Sayer said Oxfam was targeting remote areas not covered by the government or other relief efforts.
“This is Oxfam’s normal practice in an emergency,” Mr Sayer said. “We are communicating closely with government units in Sichuan and Gansu to make sure we do not duplicate their efforts, and to use our resources effectively.”
Oxfam is striving to concentrate relief and rehabilitation work with poorer people, who are generally found in more remote and hilly areas. The agency has experience in earthquake, flood and snowstorm relief in the provinces in which it is now operating.
People wishing to donate to Oxfam Australia’s China Earthquake Appeal can do so through the website or by calling 1800 088 110.
Funds will go towards relief, rehabilitation and restoration of livelihoods. Oxfam has extensive experience in these areas, estimating that funds will be needed for rehabilitation activities such as infrastructure recovery for some time to come.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Keith Wong (China) +852 94262764
Melany Markham (Australia) +61 407 515559