Within hours of the deadly March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that shattered northeastern Japan, AmeriCares mobilized a large-scale emergency response, with shipments of medical and humanitarian aid that helped countless survivors in need.
An estimated 20,000 perished in the devastation. Entire communities were wiped out, and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. The two catastrophic events then produced a third: a nuclear disaster at the badly damaged Fukushima facility, leaving an entire area essentially uninhabitable.
In the four years since the disaster, AmeriCares has committed $8.8 million in medical and humanitarian aid to help families who have lost everything build a healthy future. While Japan continues to rebuild the region, our team in Sendai has worked with local organizations to build health programs and meet other critical community needs such as support for new mothers, the elderly and people with disabilities.
AmeriCares responded quickly, and our team has remained in the disaster zone for four years, helping survivors regain their health and rebuild their lives. Partnering with local organizations, we provided:
Emergency aid including medicines, water, and personal care items, hot meals for displaced survivors, and space heaters for apartments with no heat.
$8.8 million in support for targeted projects that have helped more than 90,000 beneficiaries; the projects focused on mental health, dental health, people with disabilities, overall access to health care and support services.
For four years our Japan team has worked from Sendai, filling crucial healthcare gaps.
In collaboration with local communities and organizations, we have supported 187 projects including:
- Increasing and restoring access to health services such as dental care
- Establishing counseling and targeted community programs to help survivors cope with trauma and loss and rebuild community connections
- Providing emergency response and services for evacuees
- Supporting people with disabilities
As we conclude our recovery work, we leave in place a network of ongoing community-based organizations and programs that will support these important services going forward.
Our current partners include:
- AAR Japan and Kesennuma Volunteer Station
- Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center
- AAR Japan and Kyouseikai
- NPO Baby Smile Ishinomaki*
- Hope Worldwide Japan
- Koko Kara Happy Project
- Kosodate Ship
- Oxfam Japan
- Seiwa Hospital
- Tohoku Music Therapy
- Save Iwate and Otsuchi Doctors Group
*This small community directed initiative has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit organization providing child care support services
As part of its Japan recovery work after the 2011 triple disaster, AmeriCares worked with The Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) to supported the rebuilding of a workshop for people with disabilities in Shiroishi.
The AmeriCares gardening project in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture works to improve the psychological and emotional well being of disaster survivors. The program provides the opportunity for participants to plant and garden without the fear of radiation, which is still relatively high throughout the region.
In one targeted recovery program after the 2011 tsunami, The Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) and AmeriCares have provided funding for a vital transportation service that takes patients from Yamada to their medical appointments at a hospital in Miyako.
Three years after the devastating earthquake, tsunami and radiation disaster, AmeriCares remains firmly on the ground in Japan– with a clear plan of action to bring health and healing to people still struggling in the aftermath
After the disasters in Japan in 2011, elderly men are learning to care for their homebound family members by attending food preparation and home care sessions conducted by medical and nutrition professionals.
To help earthquake and tsunami survivors in Japan gain access to crucial dental services, we have partnered with the Iwate Dental Association to provide mobile dental care to hundreds of elderly and infirm patients.
Baby Smile Ishinomaki provides mental health and child-rearing support services for mothers with young children in Ishinomaki, Japan. AmeriCares Japan has helped the nonprofit evolve into a model organization by providing funding and managerial support.
AmeriCares has expanded its dental program with Iwate Dental Association to include 5 more dentists with the goal of improving access to dental care for tsunami and earthquake survivors in Japan.
By funding both community-directed programs and caregiver training programs in Japan and in the U.S., AmeriCares is providing both immediate and lasting mental health support for disaster survivors.
Portable dental tools funded by AmeriCares enable mobile dental teams to bring care to isolated elderly patients in Miyagi and Iwate, Japan.
More than 100 garden projects are part of the $1.5 million in aid AmeriCares has provided to improve the mental well-being of earthquake and tsunami survivors in Japan.
Stamford, Conn. – March 6, 2013 – Japan tsunami survivors separated since the 2011 disaster will be reunited tomorrow with the opening of a new group home built by AmeriCares.
Since the March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, AmeriCares has invested nearly $1.3 million to fund dozens of projects that support evacuees and assist people with disabilities.
In the aftermath of epic disaster, AmeriCares continues to expand recovery efforts in the Tohoku region of Japan, with continued focus on behavioral health, resettlement, and reconstruction.
A new dental clinic in Ogatsu, Japan, funded by a $220,000 AmeriCares grant, helps fill an urgent health care gap in the wake of the March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The clinic is one of three funded by AmeriCares, serving a population of more than 10,000 people.
AmeriCares is helping evacuees battle isolation and its accompanying health risks. In Kesennuma City and nearby towns, AmeriCares works with Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development (NICCO) to deliver hot meals to blocks of temporary houses, while at the same time identifying people at risk.
In the weeks prior to the 6-month anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, AmeriCares Japan team members joined communities in the Tohoku region to mourn those lost in the disaster during the annual Umi no Bon (O-bon) festivals.
Six months after a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan, AmeriCares in-country Japan team continues our steadfast commitment to help survivors recover and rebuild.