Sichuan Earthquake Two Year Report
UNICEF has worked with its counterparts to support the Government of China’s overall restoration and reconstruction plan
In May 2008, the most devastating natural disaster in China in decades struck the country’s southwestern Sichuan Province. The earthquake affected the lives of millions of people, as 88,000 people were killed, 400,000 were injured and 5 million were left homeless.
The Sichuan earthquake triggered, for the first time in recent history, a request by the Government of China for international assistance. In the first year of the emergency response, UNICEF provided support in the form of shelter and non-food items, medical equipment and nutrition supplements, pre-fabricated classrooms and learning materials, water and sanitation facilities, the establishment of Child Friendly Spaces, extensive training and capacity-building, and policy recommendations in the development of the government reconstruction plan. In the second year of the emergency response, UNICEF built on the results achieved in the first year, helping children and their families benefit from adequate psychosocial support and healthcare services, quality schooling, sustainable supplies of clean water, and well-coordinated policy.
In the two years since the earthquake, reconstruction in the earthquake zone has proceeded at a remarkably swift rate. However, because of the magnitude of the earthquake and the millions affected by the emergency, even a small percent of earthquake survivors not reached in the ongoing restoration and reconstruction phase translates into a large absolute number of people. UNICEF is therefore working with counterparts to ensure that all earthquake-affected children and women, including those in the most remote and isolated communities of the earthquake zone, benefit from rebuilt social services that are of a higher standard than those that existed before the earthquake.
Throughout the earthquake response, UNICEF has worked with its counterparts to support the Government of China’s overall restoration and reconstruction plan. UNICEF has supported the government in “Building Back Better,” building on and improving existing programmes for children, identifying areas hitherto lacking attention and supporting the establishment of new public service delivery systems that reach the poorest.