Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Red Cross transferred $5 Million to Japan on March 19.

Japanese Red Cross Scales Up Relief Efforts to Meet Huge Needs in Japan

The Canadian Red Cross continues to send funds raised to their sister organization, the Japanese Red Cross.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 — The Japanese Red Cross Society is scaling up its relief operations to help meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of survivors who are now housed in evacuation centers following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which devastated large tracts of northeastern Honshu, the main island of Japan.

Today, about 264,000 people are staying in the approximately 1,800 shelters operated by the government and supported by the Japanese Red Cross. Each day, approximately 10,000 people leave the evacuation centers and return to their homes as electricity is restored. But most do not know how long they will remain in the public shelters.

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“The Japanese Red Cross is also involved in looking after those in evacuation centers who have been forced to leave their homes in the exclusion zone that’s been created around the nuclear facility, “ said Francis Markus, a Red Cross spokesperson working from Japan. “This adds to the complexity of the humanitarian situation.”

To date, the Japanese Red Cross has handed out more than 125,000 blankets and 20,700 emergency kits – including portable radios, flashlights and other supplies – to help evacuees cope with the cold weather and lack of electricity. Other badly needed items, such as diapers, baby food, undershirts and face masks, are being procured from within the country as well. These additional supplies will benefit approximately 100,000 people.

In parallel with the distribution of relief goods, Japanese Red Cross leaders are also consulting with the local authorities to map out other ways of making survivors’ lives more comfortable during their stay in evacuation centers.

“The first few days people had one rice ball a day, then two and now, on the sixth day, are eating three meals a day,” said Nan Buzard, senior director of international response and programs with the American Red Cross, during her week-long mission in Japan which ended Saturday, March 20. “But without fuel and stoves there is no heat, and I hate to think how miserable it will be when night comes. No electricity means no water though there were some buckets for minimal washing.”

The Japanese Red Cross is exploring ways to bring hot showers and improve the sanitation facilities in the government-run shelters. And with advocacy, fuel and food deliveries are becoming more regular.

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Since the disaster, which left more than 8,000 dead and many thousands more missing, the Japanese Red Cross has also focused its operations on providing medical care to those affected by the disaster.

To date, the Japanese Red Cross has deployed nearly 275 medical teams, made up of more than 1,600 people, including doctors and nurses. Currently, more than 40 teams are working through hospitals, mobile clinics and other health facilities to provide medical care and counseling for survivors. The psychological wellbeing of a mainly elderly population that has been traumatized by the destruction of their homes and traditional way of life will remain a priority.

“This is going to be an enormous recovery operation,” said Buzard. “We saw hundreds of thousands of people displaced – many elderly who will need particular kinds of care. That will be a challenging opportunity but a challenge to all (Red Cross and Red Crescent) national societies who are going to work with the Japanese Red Cross to support them – not only getting relief to people who are still suffering a trauma but (dealing with) the long-term trauma of displacement and losing all of the things that matter to them.”

As longer-term plans are formed, the Japanese Red Cross also expects to offer further support to the most vulnerable when they are relocated to prefabricated housing organized by the Japanese government in the coming weeks and months.

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Canadian Red Cross sends $5 Million to Japan donated by generous Canadians

OTTAWA March 19- 2011 – The Canadian Red Cross is transferring $5 million in cash to the Japanese Red Cross to support relief efforts following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The money will be used to support emergency health and the distribution of relief items to people impacted by this disaster.

The Japanese Red Cross has an official role as part of the National Disaster Response Plan in Japan. Their role focuses on supporting emergency medical care, hospital care, psychological support, and distribution of relief supplies such as blankets, food and basic supplies.

The Canadian Red Cross has also been part of a high level support team that recently deployed a disaster response specialist to Japan. The team is assisting the Japanese Red Cross in addressing current critical gaps and in creating a longer term recovery plans.

The Canadian Red Cross will send additional financial support as the needs of people affected by this disaster unfold. Canadians can continue to support Red Cross relief efforts by making a financial donation to the Canadian Red Cross Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami fund. Donations can be made online at, at your local branch office or by calling toll free 1-800-418-1111.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and over 185 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

March 16, 2011

For the 80 Japanese Red Cross medical teams deployed to provide care for the evacuees, coping with trauma will fast become the biggest challenge.

The Red Cross medical teams have fanned out across the length of the 400-kilometre-long (nearly 250 miles) disaster zone. Within 24 hours of the disaster striking, they had set up a network of emergency response units from where five-person teams, comprised of doctors and nurses, operate – moving out to different evacuation centers in nearby towns each day.

In one of the evacuation centers, where at least 500 people lie huddled on strips of cardboard under piles of blankets, it is clear that this is a tragedy that has hit the young and elderly the hardest.

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“This is the worst I have ever seen in my career working with the Red Cross,” said the Japanese Red Cross President, Tadateru Konoé, during a recent visit to Otsuchi. “It brings back memories of the scenes at the end of the Second World War, when cities like Tokyo and Osaka were flattened by bombing.”

It took Toda Kazuko 12 hours driving through the night from his hometown of Kobe to reach Otsuchi. Within hours of arriving, a tented clinic had sprung up and members of the team were treating patients in the evacuation centers. A veteran of the Red Cross Haiti earthquake operation, Kazuko was totally focused on the job at hand.

“We have more than 700 staff deployed and in four days the next rotation comes in,” he said before having to leave abruptly as an elderly woman shivering uncontrollably is stretchered in to the clinic, suffering from hypothermia.

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March 14, 2011

“Local Red Cross teams have been working around the clock to help millions of people left devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” says Conrad Sauvé, Secretary General and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. “We are grateful to the participating banks for making it easier for Canadians to support Red Cross relief operations underway in affected communities and for the generous donations already made by a number of banks.”

The Red Cross response to this disaster was immediate. The Japanese Red Cross has a network of over 2 million registered volunteers. Over 80 health and disaster relief teams are currently on the ground providing emergency medical assistance, assisting in evacuations and distributing urgently needed supplies including over 30,000 blankets.

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Canadians can give online, call toll-free at 1-800-418-1111 or visittheir local Red Cross office or one of the participating bank branches. Cheques should be earmarked Japan Earthquake Asia Pacific 2011.

March 12, 2011

Red Cross Responds to Massive Earthquake in Japan.

The Japanese Red Cross has deployed medical tents and 82 medical teams to the affected area. Volunteers are on the ground providing first aid and search and rescue operations.

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These medical relief teams – made up of about 400 doctors, nurses and support staff – are already providing assistance in affected areas through mobile medical clinics, as well as assessing the damage and needs of the communities affected.

More than 300,000 people who were evacuated before the tsunami struck have been housed in temporary centers set up in schools and public buildings where the Red Cross has distributed upwards of 30,000 blankets so far.

The damage caused to the Fukushima nuclear power plant has resulted in serious concerns. The Japanese Red Cross Society remains prepared to support those evacuated from the exclusion zone, and continues to closely monitor the situation.

“The Japanese Red Cross has diligently trained over the past decade, and are able to put their training into practice by assisting the affected people,” said Tadateru Konoé, president of the Japanese Red Cross Society.

The Red Cross has started Restoring Family Links activities and emergency relief planning is underway.

The Canadian Red Cross is monitoring the situation closely and has emergency supplies and trained emergency response personnel ready to be deployed.

Canadians wishing to help support relief efforts underway are encouraged to contribute by:

  • Donating Online Now
  • Calling 1-800-418-1111
  • By texting the word ASIA to 30333 to make a one-time donation of $5*
  • By contacting their local Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

2 Comments at "Canadian Red Cross"

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