Press Release: American Red Cross Investments in Japan Disaster Response Exceed $160 Million

American Red Cross Investments in Japan Disaster Response Exceed $160 Million
Donations for earthquake and tsunami response will be used to help homeless, sick and elderly

[Washington, DC] May 13, 2011 – The American Red Cross is making another $30 million donation to the Japanese Red Cross, bringing its contributions to date to more than $160 million.

The Japanese Red Cross announced a $350 million long-term recovery plan supported by donations from its international partners, including the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross expects that its contributions to the Japanese Red Cross will support more than half of the planned activities.

Red Cross and Red Crescent partners from around the world, including the American Red Cross, gathered in Tokyo from May 9-11 to review the response to the disaster so far and to discuss plans to aid long-term recovery.

“During the meeting, the group identified the need for significant investments in improving temporary living conditions, restoring emergency and routine health services, and caring for the elderly and vulnerable children,” said Alex Mahoney, disaster management expert with the American Red Cross. “As the Japanese Red Cross moves forward with this plan, the American Red Cross will continue to direct funds to help meet the survivors’ unprecedented and evolving needs.”

About two-thirds of the donations received from international partners will be utilized to improve the living conditions for people in evacuation centers and temporary homes being constructed by the government. The Japanese Red Cross is supplying water, shower and kitchen facilities in evacuation centers. Donations are also being used to outfit the 72,000 pre-fabricated houses with six electrical appliances each, which will help an estimated 280,000 people resume normal activities and jump start their recovery.

In addition, the Japanese Red Cross will support the rebuilding of a temporary hospital in Ishinomaki City, the strengthening of the region’s only remaining critical care facility and the future construction of a permanent nursing school dedicated to training specialists in disaster medical care.

The Japanese Red Cross plan also includes:

  • support for social welfare programs for the elderly and children, including nursing care, transportation and summer camp scholarships;
  • improvements to the Japanese Red Cross disaster response capacity, including telecommunications, water purification, storage, and portable shower and food preparation facilities;
  • emergency healthcare, psychological counseling and emotional support services; and
    procurement and distribution of relief items, such as blankets and clothes.

In addition to the funds contributed by the American Red Cross and other international partners, the Japanese Red Cross has said all of the donations collected from Japanese citizens will be applied to a cash grant program. In mid April, the Japanese Red Cross sent approximately $800 million – the first of many installments – to 12 municipalities charged with distributing cash grants to the survivors who have lost their homes, loved ones and livelihoods as a result of the tsunami.

As of May 9, the American Red Cross had raised more than $216.5 million for the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response. This figure includes more than $4.5 million in text donations.

As these pledges are fulfilled and other donations are received, the American Red Cross will make additional contributions to the Japanese Red Cross recovery plan.

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