Severe rains and strong winds have battered parts of Southern China for more than a week, causing widespread floods and triggering landslides and debris flows. More than 26.8 million people have been affected by the floods, with 1.84 million people needing urgent relocation.
On 8 July, emergency response teams from Plan International China were dispatched to two of the worst flood-affected provinces – Anhui and Hunan – to assess the situation, and identify major needs of children and communities.
“Everywhere we visited, crops were flooded, roads were severely destroyed and houses were either collapsed or badly damaged,” said Zhang Qi, Disaster Risk Management Specialist for Plan International who was part of the emergency response team in Jinzhai County in Anhui Province.
Working in Anhui and Hunan provinces, Plan International plans to distribute hygiene kits, school supplies and household items to thousands of families and children, many of whom have been relocated and are currently living in open shelters or temporary camps.
Our house was flooded and we cannot live there anymore, says Xiao He*, a ten-year-old girl
Plan International will look to establish safe spaces for children where they can access learning materials, play recreational games, spend time with their friends and receive counselling support in a secure and safe environment.
“We are particularly concerned about the safety and well-being of children, particularly those who may be left at home or staying in public camps. It is currently summer vacation, and as schools are closed and/or being used as temporary shelter, we are finding that children are being left alone and unattended to,” says Zhang Hongman, Program Support Manager for Plan International China.
“Our house was flooded and we cannot live there anymore,” says Xiao He*, a ten-year-old girl. My mom and dad told me that it is unsafe to go outside, so I have to stay inside our temporary home all day and look after my younger brother,” she says.
According to national media, the government has stated an economic loss of 57.85 billion yuan (equivalent to USD 8.65 billion).
*name has been changed to protect the identify of the individual
About Plan International China
Founded in 1937, Plan International is an independent global child rights organisation committed to supporting vulnerable and marginalised children and their communities to be free from poverty.
Plan International has been working in China since 1995 with a special focus on child rights, early childhood care and development, child protection, youth employment and child-centered disaster preparedness. In China, Plan International works in Shaanxi Province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province, where 168,000 children have directly benefited from our programmes.
Since 2013, Plan International has worked in Hunan and Anhui provinces helping to strengthen child protection mechanisms and offer social protection support to children, particularly those from marginalized and vulnerable groups.