Disaster in Japan: Update from the HUMANITARIAN COALITION

Mar 17, 2011

Japanese Children PhotOne week after the massive earthquake and the tsunami in Japan, over half a million people are in emergency shelter, almost 2 million households are without power in the freezing north, and about 1.4 million households have no running water. 

The members of Canada’s Humanitarian Coalition are present providing relief in support of the Japanese Government’s emergency management efforts. 

  • CARE is sending three vehicles of relief items to Iwate prefecture in North Japan. The team will distribute water, face masks, toilet paper, sanitary tissues, biscuits, fruits and small portions of rice to approximately 900 people. They will then assess the situation to determine how best CARE can scale up the response.

  • Oxfam is supporting a local multi-language centre, FACIL, to help the estimated 40,000 non-Japanese speakers in the affected area with a hotline, portable radios and batteries, and translation of information put out by local authorities. 

  • Oxfam is also working with the Japan Organization for International Cooperation on Family Planning, the Japanese Midwives’ Association and local obstetrics and gynecologists to provide private spaces for breastfeeding in the evacuation centres, diapers and sanitary goods, and counseling to women under high stress.

  • Save the Children opened the first child-friendly space in Sendai less than five days after the earthquake and tsunami, in a primary school currently being used as an evacuation centre. In this protective environment, children can play, talk about their experiences, and establish a routine in a chaotic situation. 

Save the Children will set up more child friendly spaces over coming days to complement the Japanese government-led relief effort.

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The HUMANITARIAN COALITION, with the joint efforts of its members, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec and Save the Children Canada, provides a widespread and effective response to humanitarian emergencies. By combining under one banner, the HUMANITARIAN COALITION makes it easy for Canadians to donate in an emergency. With one joint fundraising apparatus, the HUMANITARIAN COALITION reduces fundraising costs, increasing the impact of Canadian donations where it is needed. www.together.ca

CARE Canada
Alexandra Lopoukhine

Oxfam Canada
Mark Fried

Justine Lesage

Save the Children
Denise Koulis