Emergency aid to Japan: Where do we stand seven months after the disaster?

Japanese Red Cross Society

On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 9 on the Richter scale, the strongest ever recorded in that country, followed by a devastating tsunami. Seven months later, Japan has still not fully recovered.

264 million euros have been collected from Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the globe, including 12 million euros from the French Red Cross. AREVA donated 1 million euros, among other French corporate donors.

In addition, the Japanese public contributed 2.6 billion euros directly. While these figures may seem colossal, the magnitude of the work remaining is just as much so.

What action plan has been implemented by the Japanese Red Cross Society?

With international support and the 264 million euros received from donors, the Japanese Red Cross Society developed a detailed action plan to provide assistance to the public:

  • emergency assistance (2%);
  • emergency medical response;
  • psychosocial support during the first weeks after the tsunami (2%), an effort that has now been completed;
  • improvement of the living conditions of people in shelters and transitional housing (63%);
  • rehabilitation of health infrastructure (17%);
  • social assistance to children and the elderly (12%);
  • strengthening of Japanese Red Cross Society capabilities (3.5%);

program management and coordination for the Japanese Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (1.5%).

The majority of the 2.6 billion euros contributed to the Japanese Red Cross Society by the Japanese public was disbursed through a government redistribution fund (represented in each prefecture) to provide financial aid to the victims of the disaster.

Key Figures
Key Figures
  • 15,741 people dead and 4,467 people missing according to the Japanese police report
  • Nearly 8,650 people are still living in evacuation centers (gymnasiums, schools and community centers), while more than 40,355 people have moved into temporary housing.
  • more than 48,600 prefabricated houses had been built at the end of August, out of the 52,348 planned
  • 82,000 displaced families were supplied with household appliance kits (TVs, refrigerators, microwave ovens, electric kettles, washing machines and pressure cookers); the goal of the Japanese Red Cross Society is to supply kits to 110,000 families.
  • more than 2.5 billion euros in donations had been received from the Japanese public at the end of August.