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Earthquake Relief Fund Requires NT$300 Million

Massive Rebuilding Needed After Taiwan Quake, reported by Betty Kuo, World Vision, Taiwan courtesy of World Vision www.worldvision.org.nz

Ten days after the "9/21 earthquake" people in the disaster area have gradually left, as the number of volunteers and media members have dwindled. However, the relief activities of World Vision continue. Post-quake rehabilitation, provision of basic commodities, proper settlement of beneficiaries, and trauma care are still in progress in various disaster sites.

World Vision relief activities for the 9/21 earthquake are divided into three phases. The "emergency relief" stage has already passed, with the compassionate support from all strata of society. The second phase will be "short-term relief and rehabilitation", and the third phase will be "resettlement and counselling".

World Vision has announced the third phase of the rehabilitation plan, and an estimated NT$320 million is needed for the proposed activities. As of September 30, World Vision has received local and overseas donations of NT$77 million, which is being used in the first phase to meet the emergency needs of the quake-affected people. For the second and third phases more money and support will be required. In the future, World Vision plans will include the following: long-term resettlement; provision of education fees for children and youth; sponsorship for children in disaster sites; mid-term resettlement plan; assistance for the elderly; and trauma care for children.

The rehabilitation plan of World Vision will focus on helping children, youth, and tribal people. This long-term assistance plan is in consultation with the rehabilitation policies set by related government bodies such as the Ministry of the Interior and the Executive Yuan. Concerning the psychological well-being of the children after the quake, World Vision is already mobilising social workers. World Vision Hong Kong is also recruiting social workers to join forces for this counselling work.

Putting children back to school is also an immediate concern of World Vision. In addition, in order to care for the children in disaster sites, the Youth Development Fund will co-operate with World Vision to mobilise volunteers to measure the feet of children and provide them with shoes free of charge. For the tribal children living in remote areas where transportation is inconvenient and supply is inadequate, World Vision will provide them with a full set of stationery or set up a temporary school building, so that the school children are able to continue their schooling with no obstacles.

To care for the easily neglected elderly, World Vision is making efforts to work on a government-commissioned plan to care for the quake-affected elderly. WV will mobilize churches and organisations in non quake-affected areas to foster the elderly.

World Vision Taiwan has dispatched its staff stationed in Datong Village, Yilan to Lishan as soon as WV learned that the road from Chili to Nantou has been blocked. Since the earthquake took place, the Fa Yang Village of Jenai township near Da Yue has been isolated from the outside world due to the road blocks. Because of its lack of communication, it has received little media coverage and been neglected. 135 households have to wait for the communication network to be restored. World Vision Taiwan immediately contact Deacon Ko of a Christian church in the village to better understand the situation. According to the Deacon, all houses of 135 families have been destroyed. Tonight, they will hold a village meeting to decide whether their village should move to another place. After coming to learn the situation of Fa Yang village, World Vision immediately decided to build 135 simple houses for temporary shelter. These houses will be constructed after the village meeting.

Executive Director Tim Shao said that this earthquake is not an individual tragedy, but rather it concerns the rehabilitation of the whole nation of Taiwan. The initial stage may seems simple, but the long-term rehabilitation is a long road. It is also is the most important. Shao has asked World Vision International for continued support, and he emphasised that all plans will focus upon children. Furthermore, he is calling upon the international community for more relief funding support. World Vision Taiwan has already received tremendous support from local and overseas people, and will fully utilise the resources to meet the needs of the victims.

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