Ways to Get Involved with Earthquake Relief Efforts

A major earthquake hit the remote Tibetan area of Jyekundo (Chinese: Yushu) early on Wednesday April 14th. The quake measured at least 6.9 on the Richter scale.

By Friday April 16th, the Chinese authorities were reporting 760 deaths, 240 buried, and 11,000 wounded. 85% of the houses in the main town, Jyeku, have collapsed. The deaths are expected to rise (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8624213.stm and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vPdB6QbVZo or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qheEmQ9CcU8).

The Chinese authorities have launched a major rescue effort, with 5-7,000 people sent to the area. At least two major monasteries are reported to have been flattened, with many deaths. Many areas cannot easily be reached by the main government rescuers, such as outlying villages and monasteries, and local Tibetan NGOs are working to help in these areas.

A group of local NGOs has formed a consortium to support the work in Jyeku/Yushu. The consortium is supplementing government relief work in Jyeku and the surrounding areas. It has government permission to operate and will pool funding so that it can provide assistance in the earthquake area. Coordination and supplies are purchased and transported from Xining, the nearest city to the earthquake area, 500 miles to the north.

Just one 4-truck convoy of food, rice, noodles, water, tents purchased locally in Xining cost $17,000. If you can help, please send donations to one or other of these international NGOs that are helping in this work. It is difficult for local NGOs in China to receive foreign funds directly, so for the moment we recommend sending funds to international NGOs such as these, who will purchase supplies directly in the area.

Listed below are some of the foreign NGOs with Tibetan cultural knowledge and expertise operating in or near the earthquake area. They have very reliable records and can get money directly to relief work and will support local NGOs in Jyeku:


Tibet Village Project (US, based in Boulder Colorado with projects in Lhasa & Kham)

TVP has experts working directly with local NGOs in the area now and can help the local consortium to buy medical supplies, tents, blankets, food, and water, and other supplies.
It is appealing for donations to www.Tibetanvillageproject.org or https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1002326 for Qinghai Earthquake Appeal (QEA).


Machik (based in DC)

Machik is networked with Tibetans who have years of experience serving local community needs in the Jyekundo and surrounding areas. Machik has created a safe mechanism for delivering resources directly to assistance for the people of Jyekundo and the devastated communities.
Donations: http://www.machik.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=273


Rokpa (UK, based in Scotland, with 100+ projects and schools in the Yushu/Kham area)

Rokpa has major experience working with Tibetan doctors in Jyeku and runs a school and orphanage there.
Donations: http://www.rokpauk.org/Earthquake%20Appeal.html

Plateau Perspectives (UK, with team in Xining)

Plateau Perspectives has been authorized by the government to send supplies and a team to Jyeku and has extensive information on its website.
Donate via http://yushuearthquakerelief.com/

ASIA-Onlus (Italy, with projects in Eastern Tibet)

ASIA is an Italian NGO working in Qinghai since 1993 including fluent Tibetan speakers and specializing in emergency work in Tibetan areas. Donate via www.asia-onlus.org.


Bridge Fund (US, based in DC, with projects in Eastern Tibet and TAR)

TBF has a vocational center and a school in Jyeku, which have both collapsed with much loss of life. Please help in any way that you can. Donations site: http://rockpa.org/special_programs/the-bridge-fund/.

Also the Tibet Foundation (London), Plateau Music Project (Xining), and Tibet Connections (Xining) are appealing for funds and have good reputations in the area.

Staff working with a local NGO in Jyeku wrote on April 15th: "It is difficult to assess the situation: around 80% of building houses have collapsed, the water dam has been damaged, people are afraid that it might collapse and flood the city. Most people moved to the house festival ground where some tents have been installed. We are trying to organize emergency services: water, food, medicine, tents, clothes and beddings. Our cashier who was seven month pregnant has died. It is hard to assess the number of persons who died: reports say around 300 , but I believe it is much more probably above 3,000. The needs are huge. The situation here is critical." Funds for this NGO and the consortium in Xining that it is working with can go through Tibet Village Project, Bridge Fund, Machik, but all these groups will get aid to the local community and will keep accounts of money received and spent.


For updates about the situation in the earthquake area go to http://yushuearthquakerelief.com/ or http://helpqinghaiheal.wordpress.com/

For further details, contact
Robbie Barnett
Director, Modern Tibetan Studies Program
Columbia University
New York NY 10027 USA
by e-mail at rjb58@columbia.edu
by phone at 646-266-7553
For more information on the Modern Tibetan Studies Program, click here


We thank you in advance for your patronage!



Photos of the Earthquake Devastation
(Click for larger image)




For updates about the state of the earthquake area, click here