On June 10 the American Red Cross announced it was making another $46 million donation to the Japanese Red Cross, bringing its contributions to date to nearly $210 million.
According to the press release:
Three months on from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coastline ... the Red Cross remains focused on helping to improve living conditions for many of the 98,000 people remaining in evacuation centers - most of which are situated in the hardest hit prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate. Japanese Red Cross employees and volunteers are providing a range of services for the evacuees and plans are underway to install washing machines, water tanks for hand washing, privacy partitions and televisions. “The physical and mental health of evacuees is of major concern, particularly where people are facing prolonged stays in centers,” said Alex Mahoney, disaster management expert with the American Red Cross. “Longer-term solutions to find more appropriate accommodation for people who have lost their homes are urgently needed.”
The Red Cross is supporting families moving into temporary housing units provided by the government, helping to restore a sense of normality in their lives. Home appliance packages, comprised of a washing machine, rice cooker, refrigerator, hot water dispenser, microwave and television, will be provided to more than 90,000 families with support from the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross is also increasing the number of caregivers and psychological support teams working in evacuation centers and nursing homes to address mental health issues, post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety amongst survivors.
With major damage to health and care services, another priority is to support medical facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and care homes. In Ishinomaki, the Red Cross is planning to boost local health services by building and equipping temporary medical facilities. Specially-equipped beds are also being donated to existing nursing homes across three prefectures where many elderly people require special care.
To date, the Japanese Red Cross has sent approximately $1 billion to 15 municipalities charged with distributing cash grants to the survivors who have lost their homes, loved ones and livelihoods as a result of the tsunami.