A Moment Of Reflection

Today is a day for thinking about where we’ve been and where we’re heading. Why? Because March 12, 2010 is exactly two years after the Sichuan earthquake…and four months after the Haiti earthquake.

In China:

  • The American Red Cross is restoring access to clean water in the remote and mountainous areas of Guangyuan, in Northern Sichuan. These water systems will benefit villagers in 19 earthquake affected localities, and will support more than 13,000 people, 11 clinics, and 4 schools.
  • The global Red Cross network shelter support program, targeting more than 62,000 families, has been completed. Those helped by the Red Cross included families who had lost loved ones, whose family members were disabled in the quake, or who suffered from serious illnesses.
  • More than 5,000 farmers and 600 disabled earthquake survivors are receiving vocational training by the Red Cross in such skills as breeding pigs, growing kiwi fruits and running farmhouse restaurants.
  • Red Cross community-based disaster preparedness and health programs are being implemented, in order for communities to play a more proactive role in preparing for the hazards they face.
  • Nine new disaster preparedness centers will be constructed throughout the disaster area so that the local Red Cross branches have the capacity to respond immediately to disasters with prepositioned relief supplies.

In Haiti:

  • The Red Cross continues to help survivors with food, water, shelter and health programs. So far, Red Cross relief efforts have reached nearly 2 million people.
  • The American Red Cross is providing cash grants and loans to some Haitians in partnership with Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution. Thousands of female heads of household in Haiti are receiving cash grants to meet immediate needs, and many are also being empowered with a micro-loan to help restart their business following the earthquake.
  • Shelter remains a top priority. The Red Cross is shipping building supplies for thousands of shelters, and has been training Haitian Red Cross staff and volunteers to construct these shelters.
  • So far, working in a coordinated effort with more than 70 organizations, the Red Cross has provided emergency shelter items to a target group of people exceeding the size of Honolulu – 450,000 people.
  • The Red Cross has begun working in camps in order to put in place very basic safety measures such as digging ditches for better drainage.
  • Relief workers have begun a larger disaster preparedness program to reach hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people around the country. This includes pre-positioned supplies in secure warehouses.

You can also check out this interactive map of where we’ve provided aid and watch three videos from our CEO GMcG (here, here and here) with answers to some questions we’ve been hearing about the Red Cross response in Haiti.

At some point today, I hope you’ll take another break and remember those lives lost in China and Haiti. While we continue to make progress with recovery efforts, we can’t forget where we were just a short while back.

One thought on “A Moment Of Reflection

  • My little sister, Emma, was born in that area of China.
    She could've been a victim of that quake if we hadn't adopted her.
    That alone terrifies me.

    Each twelfth day of each month for the rest of my life, I'll remember the lives that were lost in both quakes. *bows head*

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