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Habitat for Humanity rebuilding effort underway in China’s earthquake-torn Sichuan province

ATLANTA and BANGKOK (May 12, 2009) — One year after a major earthquake devastated China’s Sichuan province, Habitat for Humanity is at work with a long-term and sustained rebuilding effort.

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On May 12, 2008, an earthquake destroyed China’s central Sichuan province. Official figures indicate that over 69,000 people died, over 374,000 were injured and 18,000 were missing.

 

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In June 2008, a Habitat assessment team and HFHI’s CEO Jonathan Reckford visited some of the affected areas.

“Rebuilding safe, permanent homes after such destructive natural disasters takes time, patience and careful planning,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia Pacific vice president for Habitat for Humanity International. “We are now seeing the first results of that patience and planning.”

About half of the 800 houses Habitat plans to build are underway. The houses were designed by a Sichuan architectural college and incorporate safety features to help the structures withstand future earthquakes.

Habitat for Humanity International’s CEO Jonathan Reckford traveled to the area last July and said, “The devastation is some of the worst I have seen. The stories of lost family members, neighbors and classmates are heartbreaking, but I was struck by the resilience of the people.”

In February, Habitat for Humanity China began hosting volunteers in Sichuan, including high-profile supporters Karen Mok, an award-winning singer and actress from Hong Kong, and actor and director Daniel Wu.

Primary donors for Habitat for Humanity’s work in Sichuan include the Singapore Red Cross, Hong Kong Christian Council, Flextronics Corporation, Cisco and Hyundai Motor.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.