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China: Floods Appeal No. 18/2003 Final Report

Date de publication

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world^'s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 183 countries.
In Brief

Period covered: 22 July 2003 to 31 May 2004; Final appeal coverage: 71%.

Related Appeals: China Appeal 2006-2007 (Appeal no. MAACN001)

Appeal history:

- Launched on 22 July 2003 for CHF 7,932,000 (USD 5,770,000 or EUR 5,120,000) for 9 months to assist 440,000 beneficiaries.

- Operation extended 2 months to 31 May 2004.

- Interim final report narrative posted on 19 July 2004. This was replaced by interim final report with interim final financial report on 31 December 2005.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 300,000

The activities related to this operation were completed two years ago, at the end of May 2004, with the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) and the International Federation having since responded to various natural disasters during the summers of 2004 and 2005, and most recently, to floods and typhoons which occurred in May 2006. However, delays in the final settling of accounts with one of the 2003 flood relief operation's major donors has meant that the Federation is only now able to issue this operation's final narrative and financial reports to replace the interim narrative report issued in July 2004 and the interim financial report issued in December 2005. The increasing frequency of large-scale natural disasters both in China and around the world have been attributed to among other causes the combined factors of climate change, increased poverty and environmental degradation amongst disaster prone populations. Given this trend, the RCSC, with support from the Federation nd other donors, has begun working over the past few years with communities to increase the level of disaster preparedness at the community level. Each year, the southern provinces of China have proven to be the most vulnerable and susceptible to annual floods and storms. The balance of CHF 94,545 from this 2003 Flood relief operation will be used to support the RCSC's on-going community based disaster preparedness project (CBDP). As reported in the operation's interim report, a portion of the remaining funds was used to support the RCSC with flood response activities in 2004.

Background and Summary


Changes in the climate, deforestation and industrialisation are among the reasons cited for the increasing frequency of severe flooding in China. Heavy rains beginning in May of 2003 resulted in destructive floods and landslides which initially swept across 16 of the provinces traversed by the Huai, Yellow and Yangtze rivers. By September, some 150 million people throughout 26 provinces and autonomous regions were affected, sustaining flood-related economic losses amounting to USD 7.89 million. 3.85 million people throughout the 26 provinces were forced to flee their homes and seek shelter in public buildings and makeshift tented settlements on dikes, with settlements sometimes extending for up to several kilometres.

Like China itself , the dimension of the flooding is enormous, where the economic and personal damage sustained by one individual province affects millions of people's lives, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and causing millions of dollars in economic losses due to extensive crop and property damage. The damage in one province alone would constitute headline news in most countries around the world, with these challenges increasing exponentially with each additional affected province.

In recent years China's Ministry of Civil Affairs has developed an effective response mechanism to evacuate villages to higher ground or when available to temporary shelters prior to the arrival of floods thus leading to a ramatic decline in the number of flood related deaths. The Ministry of Civil Affairs is also able to provide some basic emergency assistance to a large number of those people who are displaced due to the floods, distributing items such as rice and tents. Nonetheless, the scale of the floods is massive and the needs exceed the means of any one single agency. The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) therefore has an important role working in co-ordination with the government at the provincial and local level to provide support to the affected population.

On 22 July, at the request of the RCSC, the International F ederation launched Appeal 18/2003 for CHF 7.8 million to provide a family package comprising 100 kg of rice, one mosquito net and one quilt, valued at RMB 335 (USD 40) to 110,000 families (some 440,000 individuals) who had sustained substantial personal losses due to the floods.

The joint Red Cross Society of China (RCSC)/ Federation operation initially provided assistance in eight provinces. As the unusual wave of flooding continued through September and October into provinces which are normally not subject to flooding such as Shaanxi, the RCSC and the Federation identified nine provinces where the affected population were in the greatest need of support. These provinces were Anhui, Chongqing, Henen, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Jiangsu, Shaanxi and Sichuan. Additionally, the RCSC carried out relief activities in response to the 2003 country wide flood emergency using funds provided by the National Lottery Fund and the Hong Kong Red Cross. Responding to the floods in 2003 posed special challenges to the RCSC and the Federation as the floods struck just as China was beginning to emerge from the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that had gripped the country.


Improvements to the RCSC's operating systems in the areas of monitoring, finance and coordination both at the national and provincial levels resulted in the provision of relief items to flood affected beneficiaries providing comfort and support to the beneficiaries during the emergency phase and in the months that followed, reinforcing the society's evolution into a more effective relief organisation.

The RCSC's Federation supported flood response activities which commenced in July 2003, supported over 110,000 families by providing them with a quilt and/or a mosquito net, while a total of 6211.775 MT of rice and wheat flour was distributed to some 82,523 families. Monitoring visits conducted both jointly and independently by the RCSC and the Federation confirmed th e satisfaction of the beneficiaries with the items, the quality of the items, and confirmed the appropriateness of the items identified for distribution.

The RCSC and the Federation's flood relief activities were made possible by support from the Austrian Red Cross, Australian Government, Canadian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, Danish Government, ESTEC, European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, German Government, Liechtenstein Red Cross, Monaco Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Turkish Red Crescent, Japanese Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross, Swiss government, and the United States Embassy in Beijing,

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In China: Mr. Wang Xiaohua, director of external relations department, Red Cross Society of China, Beijing; email: ; phone: +86.10.6404.8366, fax +86.10.6402.9928.
In China: Mr. Alistair Henley, head of East Asia regional delegation, Beijing, email:; phone: +86.10.65327162, fax: +86.10.65327166.

In Geneva: Asia and Pacific department, Ms. Ewa Eriksson, East Asia regional officer, email:; phone: +41227304252; fax: +41.22. 7330395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

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