Direct Relief has allocated up to $100,000 in cash to support the emergency response in China and Tibet following the earthquake in Qinghai Province yesterday. A portion of those funds will finance the travel of three partner groups sending medical and assessment teams into the affected region, including Yushu.
Direct Relief is coordinating with Amitabha Foundation, One HEART, and Mercy Relief, which are sending emergency teams to China to assess damage and treat the injured.
Amitabha and One HEART have been providing medical aid in the region with Direct Relief’s support for several years, and Singapore-based Mercy Relief has expertise in providing emergency medical teams in Asia when disasters strike. Among other activities with these partner organizations, Direct Relief two years ago provided financing to Amitabha to outfit a surgical suite in Yushu, the location of the quake’s epicenter.
Direct Relief has informed the office of the U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., of its financial commitment and ability to assist.
In addition to providing funding for emergency teams with deep experience in the region, Direct Relief also is exploring the potential for hand-carried medical supplies and in-country medical donations from partner healthcare companies with operations in China.
News updates report that 243 people are missing and 11,477 injured as search-and-rescue efforts continue. Tens of thousands of structures, including homes and schools, have been destroyed; 760 people have been killed in the quake, registered at a magnitude of 6.9 by the USGS and 7.1 by official Chinese agencies.
Direct Relief has extensive experience responding to earthquakes and the particular injuries they cause, including the Pakistan quake of 2005, the China earthquake in 2008, and the Haiti earthquake earlier this year. Direct Relief has provided extended support to the Pakistan Institute of Prosthetic and Orthotic Services (PIPOS), developing a comprehensive prosthetic and orthotic practice to benefit people disabled in the earthquake, and has committed $2 million to develop a similar program in Haiti.