China: Worst Floods in Decade Displace 8 Million

Heavy rains, floods and landslides across southern and central China have left 701 people dead and 347 missing. A total of 27 out of 31 provinces and municipalities in the country, mostly along the Yangtze River, have been lashed by storms. Official figures now indicate that up to 110 million people are affected, of which about 8 million have had to be evacuated from flooded areas. This includes up to 250,000 people in Guang’an in Sichuan Province, an area still recovering from the 2008 earthquake.

New storms and continuing rains over the last couple of weeks have caused the situation to further deteriorate. Since July 1, around 645,000 homes have been destroyed, leaving millions homeless. More than seventeen million acres of farmland have been flooded and crops destroyed. A third typhoon this season, Chantu, landed in the southern coastal area of Guangdong Province on July 22 and then moved to neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the evening. Over one million people were affected and 2915 houses were destroyed, according to officials at the provincial flood control headquarters. The situation is being closely monitored as more rain and flooding is expected.

Long-time Week of Compassion partner, the Amity Foundation, is in close contact with its local partners in the affected areas, who have indicated the urgent need for shelter, basic household items and food rations, including cooking oil. ACT Alliance members are providing for these urgent needs, including supplementary nutrition, daily commodities and shelter items, to minimize the suffering of 3000 vulnerable families. Amity also plans to contribute to the rehabilitation of the livelihoods of 500 households, the houses of 50 families and five irrigation/dam systems, serving the poorest and most vulnerable communities in secondary affected and remote areas.  Amity expects a big gap in unmet needs in more remote areas and in some areas classified as secondary flood-affected. Therefore, Amity will first focus on assisting people in the areas that are also severely damaged by the floods but which are likely to receive less support.

Tropical Storm Season

Even though Tropical Storm Bonnie has fizzled out, we are monitoring the Gulf Coast and other vulnerable areas as this hurricane season is predicted to be particularly harsh, and there are fears that damage might be compounded by the BP oil spill.  Thanks to you and your trust, partnership, and faithful gifts to the Compassion Response Fund, Week of Compassion will respond as needs arise.

Around the World, Around the Year

Our Compassion Response Fund is a flexible fund that allows us to respond quickly and effectively when disasters hit. Within 24 hours of the earthquake in Haiti, we were able to respond through that fund to get aid to our partners. As soon as we received word from our partners as to how we could most effectively respond to Tropical Storm Agatha in Central America, the Response Fund allowed us to help meet needs. Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, New Jersey, California—the Response Fund has met needs in all of these places as they have arisen.

2010 has been a particularly active year for Week of Compassion. We continue to respond, in partnership with you, as needs emerge. Your continued support and investment allows us to respond effectively and efficiently to disasters, extreme poverty, and many other life-and-death issues all over the world. In the midst of so much disaster and suffering, we are blessed to witness God’s presence. Your gifts to Week of Compassion make real the love of Christ in this hurting world. Please consider a mid-year contribution to the Response Fund.

Thank you for your courageous compassion, and for putting your faith into action as we reach out to our brothers and sisters all over the world. To God be the Glory!