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Listening key to help the vulnerable after earthquake
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Five years after 2008's massive earthquake in China's Sichuan Province, reconstruction is almost completed. Listening to local residents has been an important part of aid organizations' relief efforts.

Listening to local people's voices and calling on their participation are the main principles in helping damaged areas, said Oxfam, a Hong Kong based NGO, at their five-year anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake.

Howard Liu, Director of China Programme of Oxfam Hong Kong, speeks at Oxfam's five-year anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake on Wednesday.

Founded in June 2008, Oxfam Sichuan office has lunched 216 programs in three affected Chinese provinces, Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi, including 28 emergency aid projects and 188 reconstruction projects, benefiting 850,000 local residents, according to Howard Liu, Director of China Programme of Oxfam Hong Kong.

"In Sichuan, Oxfam brought 96 million yuan in aid and 60% of this sum went to rebuilding infrastructure, including roads and local water projects. These actions were decided upon by the villagers," said Zhai Fan, manager of Oxfam's Sichuan office.

"In Qixin Village of Sichuan Province, before we started reconstruction work, we held a series of meetings with villagers and gathered them to vote on different projects," she said.

Listening to local residents helps Oxfam adjust measures to on-the-ground conditions and fulfill people's real needs.

"Since our funding is limited, we hope to spend the money wisely and help them get back to their normal life," said Zhai. "The other 30% of the aid was used for livelihood projects, such as farming, planting and poultry."

Oxfam also encourages local residents to participate in development programs from start to finish, including planning, purchasing, allocation, supervision and evaluation, according to a work report released during the seminar.

"It helps save money, raise enthusiasm, and keeps everything running in a transparent way," said Zhai

Sichuan suffered the worst damage during the earthquake, but it was not the only place the NGO focuses its efforts: Gansu and Shaanxi have also benefited from Oxfam's assistance.

"The government normally goes to places most affected by earthquakes, like large urban centers where huge loss of life and economic collapse is more apparent. Instead Oxfam focuses its attention on remote and poor areas that need financial help," said Liu.

"We pay attention to vulnerable multi-cultural groups, in particular, females," he said. "We only have a limited budget, but according to the feedback from the villages we have already made a difference. People are recovering from the pain of loss and have started a new life with our help."

According to the report, Wenchuan earthquake caused 69,227 death and 374, 643 injuries, with economic losses totaling 845.1 billion yuan. 

日期:2013年4月19日 来源:中国网
http://www.china.org.cn/china/2013-04/19/content_28592420.htm
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