Red Cross Contributions to Japan Tsunami Relief Efforts Reach $260 Million

The American Red Cross has announced that its total contribution to tsunami relief efforts in Japan have topped $260 million, following a $15 million disbursement to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Through local partners such as the Japanese Red Cross, the World Food Programme, and the International Organization for Migration, the Red Cross is supporting emergency and long-term recovery efforts that are helping to meet the needs of families living in evacuation centers and temporary housing. The total contribution from the Red Cross represents 88 percent of the $296 million the organization has raised for the disaster to date.

The Japanese Red Cross has offered a range of relief services to survivors of the disaster, including access to caregivers and psychological support teams at evacuation facilities and nursing homes; distributing household appliances to more than eighty-two thousand families living in prefabricated houses and subsidized apartments; and providing auxiliary medical facilities, which have served nearly eighty thousand patients to date. Although ten thousand people are still living in evacuation centers, many of those — particularly the elderly — have turned down housing offers from the government because they feel a sense of companionship at the centers.

"Significant progress has been made since March eleventh — the mood has changed, the conditions have improved and the outlook is hopeful," said Alex Mahoney, disaster management advisor with the American Red Cross. "Still, it will be many years before some towns really come back to life. For the families waiting for temporary housing assignments near their children's school or place of employment, these improvements bring great comfort. For the elderly and ill, they bridge the gap while the debilitated healthcare system is being restored."