Photo credit: Takeshi Komino, CWS

A powerful earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011. More than 28,000 people are reported dead or missing and severely damaged nuclear reactors are causing an ongoing crisis on the country’s northeast coast. According to the Japanese government, the financial cost of the disaster may reach over $300 billion, making it one of the world’s most costly natural disasters.

CCA’s response

Coalition members have approval on a funding proposal made to the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC). Funding will provide basic food, water, sanitation, electricity and fuel for approximately 1,300 people living in evacuation sites in northeastern Japan. Relief work will also include counselling and engaging affected people in meetings to discuss problems and group concerns. The focus will be on areas where needs are not being met.

Funding sources

The CCA network accessed $100,000 through the MCIC for work in Japan. CCA members have contributed a further $33,000.

Partners in Japan

Funding will be supported through Church World Service (CWS) which is working with a number of partners in Japan including the Japan Platform, a Japanese humanitarian aid organization. CWS is also coordinating with Japanese organizations that have been involved in previous international ACT Alliance disaster responses, including the National Council of Churches in Japan, the United Church of Christ in Japan and Asia Volunteer Center.

Lead agency

United Church Canada is the lead agency for CCA in this response. CCA typically chooses a lead agency based on an agency’s experience and local connections in the country in which the disaster occurred. This enables church organizations without a local connection to use donations and other resources wisely and effectively.