The magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck Lushan County, Sichuan on Saturday, April 20 was the most devastating earthquake to hit China since the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008, leaving more than 184 dead and more than 11,000 injured. Chinese and international NGOs, foundations, and other aid organizations have rushed to the aid of earthquake victims, seeking to provide both temporary assistance and more long-term aid for residents of the region.
For those who are interested in providing donations to support the disaster relief effort, China Development Brief recommends giving to the following organizations. The Chinese organizations listed are registered as public foundations and thus eligible to publicly solicit funds from the general population. (Private foundations and NGOs may accept private donations for the earthquake, although they are not allowed to publicly solicit funds.) We recommend them because of their reputation and commitment to transparency and their strong, consistent support of grassroots NGOs and community organizations.
Some people have asked about collecting goods to donate and having them shipped to Sichuan. Given the restricted access into the disaster area, the current focus on search and rescue, and the cost of shipping, we believe a better use of resources would be to donate to one of the following organizations or to a local Sichuan NGO which are better placed to get needed goods into the disaster area.
Chinese Foundations and NGOs
One Foundation (壹基金) – Founded by international kung fu star Jet Li, the One Foundation was the first foundation without government backing to legally register as a public foundation. Over the past few years, it has become one of the most well-known charity organizations in China.
China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (中国扶贫基金会) – In recent years, this foundation has sought to distance itself from its past identity as a GONGO, making a concerted effort to professionalize and increase transparency and accountability. It has done extensive work in Sichuan.
China Charities Aid Foundation for Children (中华少年儿童慈善救助基金会) – This government-backed organization has a reputation for transparency and accountability, a solid choice for donors interested in disaster relief focused on children and youths.
China Youth Development Foundation (中国青少年发展基金会) – CYDF, another nationwide organization with government ties, has build a strong reputation for itself through youth-focused programs such as the Hope Project.
There are also a number of international NGOs working in the southwest of China that are currently accepting donations for the Sichuan earthquake relief. Several international NGOs with extensive experience rebuilding earthquake-stricken areas in Sichuan are:
Oxfam Hong Kong, http://www.oxfam.org.hk/en/default.aspx
Sichuan Quake Relief, http://sichuan-quake-relief.org/
Mercy Corps, http://www.mercycorps.org/china
Give2Asia, www.give2asia.org, also works with local organizations in Sichuan on the relief effort.
If you would like to learn more about grassroots NGOs operating in Sichuan in order to collaborate with their earthquake relief efforts, please see China Development Brief’s Chinese NGO Directory. Several of these NGOs, such as the Sichuan 512 Voluntary Relief Center and NGO Disaster Preparedness Center were specifically set up during the 2008 earthquake to deal with disaster relief. The 512 Center, www.512ngo.org.cn, acts as regional platform helping to share information and coordinate relief efforts among local NGOs.
Learn More About the Role of Chinese NGOs in Disaster Relief
The Wenchuan earthquake served as a major turning point for Chinese NGO participation in disaster relief, as the government for the first time acknowledged and accepted NGO assistance in providing aid and support to affected communities and individuals. For China Development Brief’s coverage of NGO involvement with Wenchuan earthquake disaster relief and its impact on the role of NGOs in Chinese society, please view the following articles:
An Emerging Civil Society: The Impact of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake on Grassroots Civic Associations in China
NGOs Joining Forces in Response to Disasters
The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation Opens Its Account Books on the Third Anniversary of the Wenchuan Earthquake
NGO Participation in Disaster Relief : Profiles of Reconstruction After the Sichuan Earthquake