Support for Japan earthquake and tsunami response and recovery now $133 million
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WASHINGTON, Friday, April 29, 2011 — The American Red Cross today committed another $30 million to the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief and recovery efforts, bringing the organization’s total contribution to $133.5 million. The latest donation to the Japanese Red Cross followed a four-day visit to Japan by Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.
With the funds sent to date in support of the Japanese Red Cross and other humanitarian partners, the American Red Cross becomes one of the largest private, international contributors to the response. As of April 28, the American Red Cross had raised more than $197 million for the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response, including more than $4.5 million in text donations.
Additional contributions to Japan will follow today’s $30 million gift as pledges are fulfilled and donations are received.
McGovern, who had gone to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese Red Cross, spent four days traveling the affected areas, meeting with survivors and learning how American donations have been and will in the future be put to use.
“It has been very gratifying for me to see the generosity of our country first hand and the impact that it is having,” McGovern said at the conclusion of her Japan trip. “Despite all of the destruction that we witnessed, it’s really quite amazing to know that you are part of an organization, a movement, around the world that can make a difference.”
Donations made to the American Red Cross have supported relief efforts in the more than 2,000 evacuation shelters scattered across the devastated coastal communities as well as the Japanese Red Cross medical operation, which has included nearly 600 teams providing professional-level care.
In addition, the donations are being used to outfit some of the 72,000 pre-fabricated houses planned by the government with six electrical appliances each, which will help an estimated 280,000 people resume normal activities and jump start their recovery.
McGovern said she and other Red Cross leaders discussed opportunities to assist in the building of a temporary hospital in the Ishinomaki area, where all but one of the hospitals had suffered tsunami damage. The proposed prefabricated hospital would reduce some of the stress on the single remaining facility with 100 beds for much needed secondary care until the permanent structure can be rebuilt or repaired. She said the Red Cross leaders also are considering funding the construction of a permanent nursing school.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.