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Plan sends aid to victims in Japan

The 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami left thousands of people dead and 500,000 more displaced - figures that are rising all the time. 

Photo courtesy of CNN.com.
The 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami left thousands of people dead and 500,000 more displaced - figures that are rising all the time.

Photo courtesy of CNN.com.
March 18, 2011

Plan is working to provide aid to victims of last weeks earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The aid will focus on providing child care and protection programs through Japanese partner non-governmental organizations and local authorities in the Sendai region of north-east Japan.

Plan’s first concern is the welfare of tens of thousands of vulnerable children who have been forced to flee their homes with their families as nearly half a million people are currently living in temporary shelters.

Many schools in the northern districts are currently serving as temporary shelters, including 5 pre-schools and more than 80 primary schools. Extreme cold weather, in some places snow, is hampering relief operations and worsening the plight of the survivors, especially children.

Plan’s immediate aid will focus on providing warm clothing, heating equipment, water and sanitation, food, health care, supporting community kitchens, and providing child-friendly spaces for children.

The first stage of the response is expected to last 3 months with a 15-month recovery program focusing on ‘emotional first-aid’ for children, community disaster risk-reduction, educational support and getting children back to safe schools.

Plan has a local and international team currently assessing needs on the ground.

“Japan is a wealthy, developed nation which has mounted a massive rescue and relief operation, but children’s suffering at the peak of a crisis is universal and a challenge,” said Plan’s Disaster Coordinator, Dr. Unni Krishnan.

Director of Plan in Japan Gabriel Kazuo Tsurumi said: “A country’s GDP and levels of poverty obviously affect its ability to recover long-term but right now, there are multiple disasters, the need is still enormous and there are gaps where specific help is needed and where Plan can supplement the state aid effort.”

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