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Japan Relief and Recovery Grant Funds


Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 2011

100% of all contributions received have been used exclusively to help people in Japan, supporting local Japanese organizations caring for the most vulnerable people affected by the earthquake and tsunami, with special focus on people with disabilities and the elderly.

The interactive map provides both a comprehensive overview of tsunami inundation areas and specific site-level information about expenditures, activities, rationale, and progress related to the work conducted by the in-country nongovernmental partner organizations supported by the jointly administered Direct Relief-JACL fund.

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR JAPAN)

Website: https://www.aarjapan.gr.jp/english/

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR JAPAN) is a non-governmental organization established in 1979 providing assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, emergency assistance, assistance to persons with disabilities, mine action, action against infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and public awareness campaigns. AAR JAPAN operates with no political, religious, or ideological affiliation. AAR JAPAN has supported 55 countries and areas out of 15 offices in multiple countries.

Total Amount Granted: $800,000

Direct Relief has provided AAR JAPAN with two grants to support thier earthquake and tsunami relief and recovery efforts. AAR JAPAN is working to improve the lives and futures of disaster victims, with special focus on people with disabilities and people who are elderly.

Emergency Relief Program Grant – Phase 1

Project Dates: March 13 to May 16, 2011

Amount: $400,000

AAR JAPAN’s first phase of emergency work included immediate response and the transition to mid-term recovery work. The organization sought to fulfill the needs of the more than 400,000 displaced immediately after the disaster, as well as those victims who remained in homes but did not have access to basic food, supplies, and services. As services were restored to affected areas and the needs of people affected changed, AAR JAPAN adjusted their programs and expanded the physical reach of their services. During Phase 1, approximately 61,000 people and 513 institutions benefited from AAR JAPAN’s relief efforts.

AAR’s relief and recovery activities are detailed below:

  • Distribution of Food and Non-food items (NFI): Essential items were provided including fruit, rice, milk, vegetables, blankets, clothing, medicine, boots, bicycles, wheelchairs, and hand soap.
  • Hot Bath Delivery: For seven weeks, hot water was delivered daily to five facilities in Higashi-Matsushima City and Ishinomaki City, enabling 500 to 600 evacuees to take baths.
  • Mobile Clinic: Mobile clinic services were provided to private homes in the six settlements on Oshika Peninsula in Ishinomaki City. Over 400 people received medical services during Phase 1.
  • Operation of Soup-Kitchen: Approximately 16,650 meals served in 48 facilities in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. : Approximately 16,650 meals served in 48 facilities in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.
  • Provision of Temporary Shelters: Eight temporary shelters were provided to displaced people in Onagawa, Miyagi, with 24 additional planned. AAR is also fielding requests for temporary housing in other areas.
  • Repair of Welfare Institutions: Repair of welfare facilities began with the goal of assisting in repair activities of up to 50 facilities by December 2011.
  • Shuttle Transportation Services: About 750 people utilized AAR JAPAN’s shuttle services in Oginohama and Ayukawa settlements on the Oshika peninsula, where 90% of the population was displaced. Regular bus services were disrupted since after disaster and many residents had no means of transportation.

Emergency Relief Program Grant – Phase 2

Project Dates: September 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012

Amount: $400,000

AAR JAPAN’s second phase of emergency work addresses the mid- to long-term needs of disaster victims. This includes continued distribution of food and non-food item, repair of welfare facilities, and mobile medical services. Items and services are coordinated to provide comprehensive, multi-dimensional services to those in need. Based on assessment, most of these services will continue into 2012.

AAR’s relief and recovery activities are detailed below:

  • Distribution of Food and Non-food items (NFI): Continuation of provision of essential items to the displaced population.
  • Mobile Clinic: Continuation of mobile medical services to remote settlements on the Oshika Peninsula, serving a population of approximately 640 people. During Phase 2, services will expand to include physical therapy, occupational therapy, mental health counseling, and community-building activities.
  • Operation of Soup-Kitchen: Continued operation of meal service to welfare facilities, evacuation centers, and community centers, easing the burden of meal preparation from evacuees and facility administrators.
  • Repair of Welfare Institutions: A wide range of repair and reconstruction projects are being conducted, from repaving walkways to repairing structural building damage. AAR JAPAN aims to assist 50 facilities, serving up to 100 people each, for persons with disabilities and elderly people in the Tohoku region.

Read a story about AAR JAPAN’s work

International Volunteer Center of Yamagata (IVY)

Website: https://www.ivyivy.org/

International Volunteer Center of Yamagata (IVY) is a non-governmental organization established in 1991 that addresses the issues of Asian and rural societies. IVY aims to be culturally sensitive and sustainable.

Total Amount Granted: $705,438

Direct Relief has provided IVY with two grants to support thier earthquake and tsunami relief and recovery efforts.

Cash for Work Program Grant

Project Dates: June 1, 2011 – March 31, 2012
Amount: $250,000

International Volunteer Center of Yamagata (IVY)’s Cash for Work program has provided unemployed disaster victims with work and income while also contributing to the recovery efforts by cleaning debris from houses of those who cannot do it themselves. Workers in IVY’s program, some of whom have participated in the cleaning of over 70 homes during the six months following the earthquake and tsunami, are all disaster victims themselves and many lost jobs in fishing or other industries because of the disaster. After three months of employment allowance from the Japanese government, those who lost their jobs did not have a source of income. IVY has built hope, purpose, and self-sufficiency by providing work opportunity.

Some disaster evacuees, especially elderly people, have been unable to return to their homes because of debris and flooding. IVY’s Cash for Work program has accelerated the return of the elderly to their homes by targeting these houses for debris removal.

Direct Relief funds nearly one fifth of IVY’s Cash for Work Program, a large percentage of which goes to workers’ salaries and construction tools and materials.

IVY’s relief and recovery activities are detailed below:

  • Information Gathering: Homeowners with the greatest need for assistance, especially elderly people, have been identified and prioritized for debris removal.
  • Mud and Debris Clearance: IVY Cash for Work program participants are paid to clean debris from homes, business, and public areas. Over 200 devestated houses and offices were cleaned from June to October 2011.
  • Employment of Tsunami Victims: Over 110 tsunami victims have been employed for more than 10 months in Miyagi Prefecture. Direct Relief funding pays for salaries of project managers, area managers, group leaders, and office workers.
  • On-the-Job Training: Due to a low supply and high demand for carpenters in the tsunami zone, homeowners are requesting that IVY’s workers perform skilled repair and reconstruction tasks. In order to raise the workers’ skill level to meet this need, IVY will increase opportunities for on-the-job training. Simultaneously, workers’ aquisition of new skills increases thier marketability on the job market.
  • Worker Support: In additional to providing temporary employment, IVY facilitates and/or supports program participants in finding or creating new jobs to sustain their income and skills.
  • Local Economy Stimulation: Some of the project participants have contributed to the hosting of 261 morning markets in more than 25 temporary housing sites with 2,736 residents fro June to October 2011. IVY also purchases items, such as food, locally when possible and holds gatherings to promote communications among victims.

Local Power for Local Relief Program Grant

Project Dates: April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013
Amount: $455,438

International Volunteer Center of Yamagata (IVY) strongly believes in the power of actions by local residents to be thier own cure for issues related to the disaster. More than one year after the disaster, IVY is continuing existing programs and implementing new initiatives to help people in the devestated region to help themselves. Currently, the support is focused on the hardest hit areas of Kesennuma and Ishinomaki.

Direct Relief funds half of IVY’s Baby Home Project and Local NPO Mentorship Program, detailed below:

  • Baby Home Project: IVY is mentoring childcare facility staff and subsidizing their employment cost, using the same model as the successful “Cash for Work” Program. In the affected region, where it is difficult to find full-time, stable employment, it is increasingly necessary for families with children to have two incomes. Affordable childcare services are very limited so IVY has chosen to support a new center called TSUBOMI (“blossom bud”). IVY’s support allows the childcare workers to receive thier first income since September 2011, keeps the cost of childcare affordable, and allows the parents of 20 infants to seek or conitnue employment.
  • Local NPO Mentorship Program: The importance of local residents participating in solving of problems became apparent to IVY during thier “Cash for Work” Program, “Locals know the most about local problems, and they are the ones who have solutions for them.” In order to stimulate localized and sustainable activities, IVY has decided to support newly established local Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs). Assistance includes instruction on the incorporation of the organization, fundraising, accounting, labor service, and sustainable business planning. IVY aims for the organizations to be self-sustaining by March 2013.
    • Tree Seed: An organization started by 5 IVY Cash for Work workers who wanted to continue supporting Kesennuma through community center support, food provision for the elderly, volunteer coordination, and more.
    • Ichigo-Ichie: A small company established by 4 IVY Cash for Work workers that assists the elderly and anyone who needs it.
  • Job-Matching Assitance: IVY’s situation analysis has determined that there is a matching gap in people looking for jobs and companies who are hiring. IVY is continuing to support workers and businesses by consulting, providing information, and providing matching opportunity.
  • Business/Entrepreneurship Seminars: Since December 2011, IVY has been holding business seminars in the affected areas and providing free counseling services. IVY is collecting business plans and exploring ways to support new ideas.

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