Press Release: American Red Cross Contributions to Japan Disaster Response Increase to Nearly $245 Million

July 11, 2011

American Red Cross Contributions to Japan Disaster Response Increase to Nearly $245 Million
New $35 million donation means that almost 90 percent of U.S. donations have been sent to Japan in four months

[WASHINGTON] Monday, July, 11 2011 – The American Red Cross is making a $35 million donation to the Japanese Red Cross, bringing its contributions the country’s earthquake and tsunami response to nearly $245 million – about 90 percent of the money donated.

The new donation to the Japanese Red Cross comes as Japan continues to work to recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami as well as newer developments such as Sunday’s aftershock, last month’s flooding, and the onset of summer heat.

The Japanese Red Cross has made significant progress four months after the devastating disasters struck the country’s northeast coastline on March 11. The American Red Cross is backing more than half of the Japanese Red Cross’ $350 million aid program designed to meet the continuing emergency and longer-term recovery needs of more than 90,000 families living in evacuation centers and temporary housing.

With funding provided by the American Red Cross, more than 36,000 families have already received a set of household appliances, including a washing machine, refrigerator, microwave, rice cooker and hot water dispenser, for their temporary homes. As the temperature rises, seasonal appliances, such as electric fans, will be considered for future distributions.

“The number of families receiving appliances has grown exponentially in recent weeks – which is a good indicator that people are transitioning out of the evacuation centers and into more comfortable accommodations, such as pre-fabricated houses and vacant apartments provided through the government” said Alex Mahoney, disaster management expert with the American Red Cross.

Ultimately, the Red Cross will provide 90,000 families with household appliances while also improving water and sanitation systems and providing comfort items for those who still remain at the evacuation centers.

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

May 13, 2011

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.

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Press Release: American Red Cross Contributes Another $30 Million for Japan’s Recovery

April 29, 2011

American Red Cross Contributes Another $30 Million for Japan’s Recovery

[Washington, DC] April 29, 2011 – The American Red Cross today committed another $30 million to the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief and recovery efforts, bringing the organization’s total contribution to $133.5 million. The latest donation to the Japanese Red Cross followed a four-day visit to Japan by Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.

With the funds sent to date in support of the Japanese Red Cross and other humanitarian partners, the American Red Cross becomes one of the largest private, international contributors to the response. As of April 28, the American Red Cross had raised more than $197 million for the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response, including more than $4.5 million in text donations.

Additional contributions to Japan will follow today’s $30 million gift as pledges are fulfilled and donations are received.

McGovern, who had gone to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese Red Cross, spent four days traveling the affected areas, meeting with survivors and learning how American donations have been and will in the future be put to use.

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Story: A Mother’s Quick Response

March 30, 2011

Photos and story by Olav A. Saltbones with the Norwegian Red Cross

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Response, 2011

Nanae Katayama gave birth to her third child on March 24 in a Red Cross hospital in Ishinomaki, Japan – 13 days after an earthquake and tsunami devastated communities along Japan’s northeast coast. The 31-year-old mother explains how she saved her children from the waves:

“I was in the house by myself, when the earthquake occurred. I put my head under the table, the things fell off but the house stayed still. Next moment I thought about my little boys in the nursery, whether it is safer to pick them up and bring them back to the house where things are everywhere, or let them stay there. The neighbors started to come out of the house, so I did. My friend was going to pick up her son at the same nursery, so I went with her and collected my two sons. I ran up to the hilly area with kids in both my hands and in my stomach.

Afterward, I was told that the tsunami hit the nursery 5 to 10 minutes later than that. Now a car is hanging off the entrance gate of the nursery and possibility of some children lost their lives. If I didn’t get a lift with my friend at that time, I would never ever have been able to hold my sons’ hands again. When I think about it, it is really scary. On top of the luck I didn’t lose my sons, now I am very happy to have a (long-awaited baby girl).”

See entire Japanese Red Cross Society Tsunami and Earthquake Response on Flickr >>


Photo: Japan Embassy Event

March 30, 2011

The American Red Cross today announced that the public has generously donated $120.5 million to help the people of Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Japan Embassy Event 3.29.11

“The Red Cross is an organization that has always been at the very center of the action when people are faced by natural disasters. On behalf of the Japanese people and the government of Japan I am so grateful to the American people and the American Red Cross.”

- Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan’s Ambassador to the United States

See entire “2011 Japan Earthquake” set on Flickr >>


Press Release: Public Donates over $120 Million to American Red Cross to Assist Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors

March 29, 2011

Public Donates over $120 Million to American Red Cross to Assist
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors

Money will go to assist Japanese Red Cross and other relief and recovery efforts

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, March 29, 2011 – The American Red Cross today announced that the public has generously donated $120.5 million to help the people of Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The announcement was made Tuesday at a press conference at the Japanese embassy with Japan’s Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki and American Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.

The money will go to the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response, specifically the Japanese Red Cross, which is providing direct emergency relief, medical services and emotional counseling to affected communities. The American Red Cross committed an initial $10 million in the early days after the disaster and will provide the Japanese Red Cross with another $50 million in the next few days. The remainder of the funds will be made available as they come in.

In addition to the funds provided to support work by the Japanese Red Cross, the American Red Cross has given $500,000 to the United Nation’s World Food Programme for logistics support for the delivery and storage of relief items for survivors. The American Red Cross also has been assisting in the voluntary evacuations of military families from Japan.

“Almost three weeks after one of the most devastating earthquakes in history, we are immensely grateful to the American public for their continued generosity,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross. “As part of the world’s largest humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross is eager to support our counterparts in the Japanese Red Cross, whose staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to meet the immense needs of their people.”

“The American public and we at the American Red Cross have not forgotten the generosity of the Japanese people when we suffered tremendous loss after the 9/11 attacks and, more recently, after Hurricane Katrina,” said Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross. “Collectively, the Japanese Red Cross sent us contributions of close to $30 million. Now it is our opportunity – and our duty – to do what we can to help you.”

The American Red Cross expects these funds will be used to fund immediate relief activities such as providing supplies and medical care. Over time, it is likely that some of the contributions will be used for longer-term recovery. The American Red Cross has been in close contact with its partners in the Asia Pacific region since the earthquake to offer its support. The Japanese Red Cross has expressed its gratitude for the support of the American people and the American Red Cross.

The Japanese Red Cross is a highly experienced disaster relief organization with 2 million registered volunteers, many of whom have responded to help their neighbors affected by the earthquake, tsunami and evolving nuclear emergency.

Red Cross volunteers and staff in Japan continue to provide health care, emotional support activities and relief items to people affected. The Japanese Red Cross has dozens of medical teams operating in Red Cross hospitals and mobile clinics treating those affected by the disasters.

Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, the Red Cross dispatched relief items from stocks to assist those affected, and has provided 125,500 blankets and 25,000 emergency kits. The Red Cross is increasing its relief operations for survivors in evacuation centers and is planning to provide supplies for 100,000 people. It is also working with local authorities on ways to help people still living in evacuation centers.

Overall, the conditions for survivors appear to be improving: the number of people in shelters in Japan has dropped to 244,000 from what had been the high of nearly half a million. More supplies and fuel are also reaching affected areas. However, the needs are still overwhelming and uncertainty around several Japanese nuclear reactors and associated health risks remains a major concern.

The American Red Cross also has been assisting in the voluntary evacuations of military families from Japan. Over the past week, American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces staff stationed at military installations in the Far East assisted with the voluntary departures of military families from Japan. The Red Cross helped register departees, escorted people and assisted in military sheltering operations.

American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces staff also provided a range of support including: canteen services; registering passengers; helping people find out where to secure all the required military clearances; and assisting people to the aircraft. Once the families reached the U.S., Red Cross staff was also on hand to provide families food, snacks and comfort items.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.


Video: Japan Earthquake

March 25, 2011

Sabrina Jackson, Red Cross Station Manager in Yongsan, talks to AFN Korea about donating to the American Red Cross.

Video courtesy of AFN Korea


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