Latest on Crisis in Japan
The situation in Japan continues to worsen in what is clearly now the worst catastrophe that the country has faced in many decades. The threat of radiation leaks has intensified and people in the surrounding areas have been asked to take precautions. In the meantime, the official death-toll is at 3,373, but with over 20,000 missing. Over 500,000 are displaced and in 2,600+ emergency shelters. The disruption to air and land travel has had knock-on effects on supply chain leading to severe shortages of food, water, batteries, energy and fuel across much of the country, and some signs of panic are being observed.
A HF first responder team arrived in Sendai on 14 March with 3 trucks of essential supplies, and have set up a food camp in the city area to support over 1,000 displaced refugees. They are following local police and government guidelines, and are also liaising with other organisations. A local school has agreed to provide food items which our team are cooking and distributing as warm meals. The weather is very cold, with more snow expected, and in the region, many people have limited access to bedding and blankets. A back up team from Nagoya will be joining the team in Sendai within 24 hours. Having registered with the local authorities, the HF team have access to emergency fuel supplies.
It is likely that the team will have to work in other coastal areas in Miyagi.
We expect to focus on food, water and shelter for the next 4 weeks, and will then consider options for rehabilitation projects. We have also lined up hundreds of water filtration units in the UK ready for despatch if requested by the team, though currently the guidance is that the Japanese Army have sufficient supplies of watre filtration and blankets which are being air-dropped to remote communities.
We have agreed to launch a fundraising appeal (details to be confirmed with each country but we are targeting at least $250k) which will cover the immediate relief activities as well as contingency for longer-term rehabilitation projects which will be required. Please raise awareness of the work and start fundraising. Photos and reports will be sent out in the next few days. Our team on the ground is working around the clock and has already attracted national and international media attention. They are in a dangerous zone. Please pray for their health, safety and success.
Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.