ADRA International–When dangerous snow storms devastated China’s central, southern, and southwestern regions this winter
, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) responded immediately, providing emergency relief assistance for nearly 5,000 survivors in Huoshan, one of the areas most severely affected by the storm in the province of Anhui, in eastern China.
Heavy snowfall, sleet, and ice caused severe damage throughout 19 provinces of China during the month of January. Considered to be the worst storm in 50 years, government officials estimated that the storm generated nearly $21 billion in losses, affecting seven million people, killing 129, and destroying 485,000 homes.
ADRA China was the first and only international non-governmental organizatio
n (INGO) to respond in the Huoshan area, and one of the first INGOs to respond to the disaster throughout the 19 affected provinces. ADRA provided clothing and blankets for 890 families and 281 individuals
of the most vulnerable and most seriously affected by the disaster.
The snowstorms affected more than 3.4 million residents in the Anhui Province alone. In Da Hua Ping town, one of the communities targeted by ADRA’s economic development projects, more than 96,000 were affected by the disaster, which damaged 428 homes, and collapsed another 327. The crippling storms also cut power, traffic, and telecommunication in most of the villages and towns in that area.
“It’s the rural poor who suffer the most, including many farmers,” said Jacob Liu, emergency management coordinator for ADRA China. “It may take several
months, or even years for the poorest communities to rebuild and recover.” During such an emergency, the most urgently needed emergency supplies are for warm coats, quilts, and other relief materials.
“ADRA carries out emergency relief when it is needed; we also want to give [the survivors] the hope of life,” commented Linda Zhu, country director for ADRA China. “During the snowstorm, ADRA’s frontline staff was devoted to the relief work, despite the cold weather and hardships. On behalf of ADRA China and the survivors, I would like to salute the staff, and express my sincere thanks to all of our caring donors for their love and support.”
The ADRA office in China has been working in the People’s Republic of China since 1998 addressing poverty allevi
ation and environmental problems through the development of safe, healthy, sustainable, and energy-efficient construction practices in northeast China. ADRA China’s projects aim to increase ecological sustainability, access to basic education for children, adult non-formal training in practical skills and income generation, economic diversification, and income earning opportunities.
ADRA is present in 125 countries, providing community development and emergency management without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race, or ethnicity.