China Snow Disaster

Note: The following appeal is now closed.  You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross


Unusual cold accompanied by heavy snow, sleet and ice has affected at least 19 provinces in China over the past several weeks. Considered to be the worst winter storm to hit the country’s central, eastern and southern provinces in more than 50 years, this weather has brought a second bout of disaster to people already struggling to cope from this past summer’s floods.

According to Ministry of Civil Affairs, the unusual weather has so far caused the deaths of 60 individuals and forced nearly 1.76 million people from their homes, toppled 223,000 houses and damaged another 862,000 homes. It is estimated that the economic losses in China are approximately $8.2 billion.

The Red Cross Society of China is mobilizing relief items from local disaster preparedness centres and dispatching local First Aid and medical teams.

The Canadian Red Cross is appealing to the public to generously support the current overwhelming humanitarian needs in China, as a result of the unusual winter storms. Funds raised will be used to provide much-needed relief supplies to communities including food, shelter, warm clothing and medicine. After the immediate needs have been met, Red Cross recovery projects will help those who have lost their homes due to collapses from the heavy snow in areas.

The Canadian Red Cross has been supporting humanitarian projects in China for the last 15 years. During this time we have responded to more than 20 disasters and contributed approximately $8 million to support emergency activities during earthquakes, typhoons, and floods in China. 

Thanks to the generous support of Canadians, the Canadian Red Cross has funded the establishment of four Chinese Red Cross Regional Disaster Preparedness Centres in Liaoning, Anhui, Jiangsu and Sichuan provinces. In addition, the Canadian Red Cross has also supplied trained delegates to assist in: disaster relief operations, assessment and monitoring missions. 

After meeting the immediate needs are met following a disaster, the Red Cross strives to help people rebuild and improve the quality of their lives.  Working together with provincial Red Cross branches, the Canadian Red Cross has been supporting health projects in Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan since 1999.  These projects include assistance to rural hospitals, an eyesight recovery project for poor cataract patients and HIV/AIDS prevention programs targeting youth and high risk groups.  

Canadians are urged to help ease the suffering of this humanitarian crisis. Those wishing to support relief and recovery activities are encouraged to contribute by donating online, calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “China Snow Disaster” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.