Barely 10 days after Cyclone Nargis ravaged the Irrawaddy delta, a 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan in the Sichuan province on 12 May, leaving about 88,000 people dead or missing and five million more homeless.

In four days, MR sent the first response team to ground zero with S$450,000 worth of relief supplies. Items included tents, system shelters, food, medicines and 1,000 play packs. These were distributed to survivors in four devastated prefectures – Aba, Mianyang, Deyang and Chengdu. Working closely with the local Disaster Management Centre, the Sichuan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (SFPA) and the Poverty Alleviation Bureaus of Chengdu and Ziyang, we sent a second tranche of supplies to Wenchuan. This included five 40 square-meter tents which were used as temporary classrooms for children in Wenchuan. By giving the children a place to gather, play and attend classes, we wanted to restore some normalcy to their lives and to cushion the impact of the psychological trauma from the earthquake.

On China’s Children’s Day, 1 June, MR’s Goodwill Ambassador, Stephanie Sun, a home-grown pop star, flew to China to personally distribute 1,000 Play Packs MR prepared for the children in the Mianyang prefecture and Dujiangyan. Each pack also came with a personal hand-written note of encouragement from children in Singapore of different faiths, addressed to the recipient. This was to let them know that they are not alone in their suffering.

In the mean time, MR launched an island-wide street collection in Singapore and was able to raise S$163,000 in one day with the help of more than 800 volunteers. With a total of S$1.2 million in additional funding from the Singapore public and corporate donors, MR embarked on seven reconstruction projects in the Ziyang prefecture – three schools, one home for the aged, one health clinic and two bridges. Apart from this, the organization is also supporting 22 underprivileged students attending the Laojunjing School under the student financial assistance programme.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org