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China: Food identified as immediate need in flood zone

World Vision - Asia Pacific - Thu, 23 Jun 2011 11:21 GMT
Author: World Vision China communications
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?The flood-affected people now need food the most, and shelters. The drought that happened not long ago has already brought crop failure in Hunan. It is estimated that the survivors will face food shortage for about three to four months,? said Meimei Leung, the team leader in the flood zone and Head of World Vision China?s Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs department. She added, ?We saw many farmlands covered with mud. It is obvious that villagers? major crops like corns, soybeans, peanuts and sugar canes are going to die. People have lost their bearings and don?t know what to do.? Xu Sanmei, a villager in Jiangxi who originally owns a fishpond and a small farmland lost everything. ?After the floods, all my crops in the field were dead. All the fish were washed away. My house was ruined. Everything is gone. I don?t know what we can have for food in the coming months,? he lamented. The highest flood level in the city is one metre while it reached three metres in some rural villages and most reservoirs are overflowing. In his city alone, 520,000 people were affected and about 70% to 80% of the paddies were damaged according to reports. In the coming two to three months, it is estimated that more than 200,000 people will face food shortage. Peng Jianxiong, 13, from Hunan province said, ?Our house was gone. My mind turned blank. I could not stop but cry when I saw my mum.? His bedroom was gone and is now filled collapsed bricks and scattered roof tiles. Peng who was already teary eyed said, ?I do want a new house. Even a small one is good. It is important that it will never be knocked down by floods again.? Peng?s dream for a new house is now weighing heavily on his parents who are farmers. They do not know where to get money and if they can afford the rising prices of building materials. To help the survivors Leung said, ?World Vision plans to distribute the first batch of emergency items including 1000 quilts, 1000 hygiene kits and food grains. Child friendly kits will also be distributed.? Several hygiene kits that consist of towels and soaps among others as well as child friendly kits containing toys were initially distributed by the assessment teams. World Vision will closely work with local counterparts in planning further relief efforts. The Chinese government has already dispatched tents, quilts and instant noodles to meet people?s immediate needs. Latest reports from the Ministry of Civil Affairs state that the rain-triggered floods have left 175 dead, 86 missing and more than 1.64 million displaced. The direct economic loss has amounted to RMB 35 billion (USD 5.4 billion). To arrange media interviews, please contact: Annie Lo, Communications Officer, World Vision China Email: Phone: +852 23096152 or +852 92087622 Shirley Kimmayong, HEA Communications Advisor ? Asia Pacific Email: Phone: +63 917 822 2579

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