Recovery of Yushu earthquake zone in full swing

06 September 2010

Beijing, 6 September 2010 – As more than 200 million Chinese pupils on returned to school this week, about 4,500 children in Chengduo County of earthquake-affected Yushu Prefecture have also resumed their schooling in prefabricated classrooms provided by UNICEF.

The 97 prefabricated classrooms were provided to remote schools where the assistance was relatively inadequate compared to Yushu County, the earthquake epicenter. Equipped with heating facilities, they will shelter the students through the upcoming harsh winter on the plateau at an average altitude of approximately 4,000 metres. The local temperature has already started to drop, ushering in an eight-month long winter with extreme cold and frequent snow storms.

"This is part of our joint effort with government counterparts to help children return to normalcy in the current transitional phase." Dr Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF Representative to China said after her visit to UNICEF-supported prefab schools and Child Friendly Spaces in earthquake-affected Chengduo and Yushu counties from August 16-18. She also visited local Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital to check the medical equipment and supplies provided by UNICEF.

As of this writing, UNICEF has provided more than 3.3 million US dollars of relief supplies and technical assistance to earthquake-affected areas. UNICEF's assistance is mainly focused on addressing the needs of children and women living in hard-to-access regions where the difficult terrain and remoteness have resulted in relatively less emergency support than the epicenter.

"UNICEF is working with its government partners to ensure that all the children in the earthquake affected areas will be able to enjoy equal access to quality education, healthcare, psychosocial support, and other services in the transitional period." Dr. Nwe said.

In the first three months of the emergency response (April–July 2010), UNICEF responded to the immediate needs of children and women and helped protect the lives of survivors. UNICEF has provide supplies including winterized tents, warm clothes and boots for children, student kits, library kits, sports kits, medical equipment, ambulances, micronutrient sachets, newborn baby clothes, social mobilization materials for emergency vaccination campaign etc.

The reconstruction and recovery will take about three years to accomplish. UNICEF-donated prefabricated schools and school latrines will provide a safe learning environment to the students before their permanent school houses are built. Four Child Friendly Spaces are also providing long-term psychosocial support to children and their communities. UNICEF will conduct capacity building activities for local health staff and teachers to improve their delivery of service. Voluntary donations from governments, corporations and individuals are making all these efforts possible.

Media contacts

Liu Li
Communication Specialist
UNICEF China
Tel: +86-10-85312612

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