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The standard of living in China has improved over the past 30 years; there are widening gaps between rich and poor, and urban and rural areas. Two-thirds of China's 367 million live in rural areas. Many of them, especially those from minority ethnic groups, live in remote areas and lack access to good quality health services and education.
Disaster Relief and Recovery
Earthquake in Sichuan Province
On April 20, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan Province, collapsing more than 186,000 homes and destroying roads and infrastructure. 196 were reported killed and more than 13,000 injured, as well as numerous families displaced. Save the Children has been responding in the hardest-hit areas, providing families with health and hygiene kits, lanterns and other supplies and opening child-friendly spaces where children can recovery, learn and play.
In 2008 an earthquake devastated the Sichuan province of China, killing nearly 70,000 people and leaving 4.8 million people homeless. For over a year we responded by repairing buildings, providing healthcare and education, and helping communities prepare for future emergencies. Learn more about our response.
Challenges for Children
The devastating earthquakes in 2008 and 2013 have lead to terrible suffering for thousands of young children in China. Millions of families were left homeless, forced to rebuild their lives with the little resources they had left. When disasters strike, children are especially vulnerable. Girls and boys can't go to school, The quality of education suffers due to lack of resources, and receiving healthcare becomes a struggle without the proper medical supplies.
When children lose their homes, schools and basic medical care, they have little chance of rebuilding stable lives.
Results and Impact
Immediately after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, we opened an emergency program office in Chengdu, and have since set up a permanent program.
To improve the quality of education we've been involved with teacher training in rural China since 1992, helping teachers make their lessons enjoyable and stimulating for all students. We've now extended the training to two more regions.
In impoverished communities and schools we've set up child friendly spaces. These spaces provide safe areas for children to play, learn and socialize. They also function as hubs to coordinate government units and other NGOs to offer comprehensive services for vulnerable children.
China Facts and Statistics:
Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children's 2012 State of the World's Mothers report. You can access detailed data here.
Other sources as follows: Infant Mortality Rate: CIA World Factbook 2013; Population: CIA World Factbook 2013; Life Expectancy: CIA World Factbook 2013; Human Development Index Rank: United Nations Development Program
Last Updated October 2013