World — 19 March 2011
World Vision helps hard-hit Japanese survivors

World Vision helps hard-hit Japanese survivors.

As Japan approaches the one-week mark since the destructive 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, World Vision relief distribution operations began today in the city of Tome and tomorrow will reach Minami Sanriku, one of the hardest-hit coastal towns in the country.

Blankets, bottled water and sanitary and hygiene supplies are among the items in World Vision’s distribution to assist more than 6,000 people in urgent need in Minami Sanriku, where 9,600 townspeople have been displaced into 40 shelters. This tsunami-swept town in Miyagi prefecture, like many other areas of Japan, is experiencing below-freezing temperatures and snowfall.

The town’s deputy mayor, Mr. Endo, who lost several employees in the tsunami, said to World Vision aid workers: “This area is disaster prone…so we all had preparedness training. But this was beyond what any of us could expect.”

World Vision is working with the local authorities who are organizing non-governmental assistance and helping assess which items are most needed by displaced survivors.

“The first step in any response, for children and adults, is to provide shelter, food and safe drinking water,” said World Vision relief manager Kenjiro Ban, who also worked in World Vision’s quake response in Haiti last year. “Priority needs also include supplies for babies and small children, and next steps will include setting up Child-Friendly Spaces, which are safe places for children where they can be protected, have structure and playtime, and begin to deal with the stress of the traumatic events they’ve just experienced.”

Financial Accountability for U.S. donations: Donations made to World Vision’s Japan relief response will be designated for this specific response. If donations for Japan relief meet or begin to exceed World Vision’s response needs, we will halt fundraising for this response, and redirect any excess funds raised to other emergency relief projects around the world. Similarly, in the event that we are no longer able to continue our response in Japan, we will redirect any remaining donations to other emergency relief projects.

How to help: Donate or learn more at worldvision.org or by calling 1.888.56.CHILD. The public can also donate $10 by texting ‘4JAPAN’ to 20222. According to World Vision relief experts, cash donations are the best way to help survivors, as that allows help to be mobilized most efficiently.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world’s poor – regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Last year, World Vision responded to nearly 80 emergencies including the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods. World Vision’s office in Japan opened in 1987.

Web site http://www.worldvision.org/

Image by Getty Images via @daylife.

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Sean McInnes

Sean excelled in English through high school, so it was only natural he should edit the school newspaper in his final year. He would write up sports results for his local newspaper. Now he writes news stories for Oh-Yay.com

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