The "5-12" Sichuan Earthquake: One Year Later, A Look Back
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake, which struck at 2:28pm on May 12th, 2008. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused enormous damage and loss of life and has forever changed the face of civil society in China.
The Earthquake Toll at a Glance
- 68,712 total dead, official
- 17,921 still missing
- 5,335 children
- 15 million displaced
Earthquake Donations at a Glance
- Total: 76 billion RMB (US$11Bn), official
- Cash donations: 65 billion RMB (US$9.6Bn)
- Donations-in-kind: 10.7 billion RMB (US$1.6Bn)
- Domestic giving from individual donors: 40.8 billion RMB (US$6Bn)
Both our field partners in Sichuan and regular visits by SVG staff over the past year have confirmed that the basic living needs of most of the residents of impacted areas have been met (food, water, shelter). The rebuilding of infrastructure, schools and homes has begun in earnest across the affected areas, and the progress is uneven if swift in some areas. NGO activity has also increased as more domestic and international organizations have set up shop in Sichuan for the medium to long term. However the key player in the relief efforts is still the Chinese government, which is providing the bulk of the rebuilding capital and muscle and can grant or deny other groups access to the affected areas. We are expecting a shift in project categories from pure infrastructure, rebuilding efforts ("hardware" type projects) to more projects focusing on emotional support, trauma counseling, education and family therapy ("software") as the recovery begins a new phase. Since these types of psychological support resources are still relatively new in China overall, this may provide opportunities for significant impact. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to give to ongoing relief efforts in Sichuan.
Our hearts and prayers continue to be with those who suffered loss and displacement in Sichuan.