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According to latest Ministry of Civil Affairs estimates, natural disasters in China last year killed 1,851 people, left 433 missing, and affected some 390 million people across the country.
One year after the Wenchuan earthquake, the One Foundation, an independent public fundraising foundation in China, launched a NGO Disaster Response Alliance to strengthen cooperation and networking among NGOs, volunteers, media, business, and the public in future disaster responses. On April 20, 2013, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Ya’an, a city located close to the area heavily impacted by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
Immediately following the Ya’an earthquake, the Narada Foundation initiated the 4.20 Joint Operation of Chengdu Charity Organizations, which provided on-scene coordination and management, logistical and capacity building services to emergency response teams and volunteers, and needed services, like food and other daily necessities to the most vulnerable populations in Ya’an, such as women, children, and the elderly. However, despite these tangible improvements in disaster response coordination, some weaknesses of the newly built alliances have been exposed during large-scale disasters. To address these challenges, The Asia Foundation worked closely with Save the Children and the One Foundation to design and conduct a capacity building workshop in Chengdu for 25 representatives of the One-Foundation Alliance. Due to the scale and severity of natural disasters affecting China, government efforts alone are not enough to manage disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. This compact survival kit contains all the basic survival supplies to get you through those first 72 hours. This heavy-duty container can be used in place of port-a-potties in any of our kits at no additional cost. The Entire Kit is Packaged in a rugged nylon carry case on wheels and has a carrying strap and external pockets for your medical supplies.

September 8, 2010 -- Comparisons must be made between the impact of the September 5 earthquake on Christchurch, New Zealand, and the quake that hit Haiti in January.
The One Foundation NGO Alliance now includes 300 domestic Chinese voluntary disaster response and rescue teams with approximately 5,000 individual members in total. Armed with experience gained from the Wenchuan earthquake and other natural disasters, the Alliance responded within 30 minutes of the quake, dispatching response teams from Guizhou, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces to the affected area with supplies.
The joint operation quickly expanded from a handful of small Chengdu-based NGOs to an alliance made up of 162 NGOs and voluntary organizations. Challenges encountered by alliance members during field operations include division of responsibility, frequent staff turnover, and the proper management of information, donations, and volunteers.
We should respond to any disaster not only with our hearts but also with our brains,” one trainee said after the workshop.
The nature of a global system that maintains these inequalities should be exposed over and over again.
Hundreds of voluntary organizations flooded into the affected areas, trying to provide relief.
The very next day, the first batch of relief supplies arrived in Ya’an and quilts were delivered to local affected villagers. The formation of both the One Foundation Alliance and the 4.20 Joint Operation is an encouraging trend for the field of disaster management to build more cohesive and effective approaches to disaster response and relief activities.

These weaknesses exist partly due to the fact that disaster management is still a relatively new field in China and that many NGOs and volunteer groups still lack comprehensive and systematic disaster management skills and tools. The workshop combined lectures, group work, and emergency management exercise simulations to help trainees gain a better understanding of the concepts and tools of disaster response and management. In recent years, the Chinese government has encouraged such efforts, including at various high-level strategic planning sessions such as the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not those of The Asia Foundation. After doing so, many NGOs in the disaster response and relief field recognized the urgency and importance of establishing standardized systems and mechanisms for the industry so as to more effectively address the needs of affected populations. The Asia Foundation welcomes this more collaborative and comprehensive approach, and will continue to support both private and public practitioners as they prepare for and respond to disasters in China.

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