Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Emergency Relief

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Emergency Relief (52nd report)
Vital partners that support JCU assistance activities

[TOKYO, Japan, 10 May 2011]

The Japan Committee for UNICEF (JCU) has carried out assistance activities for children since immediately following the Great East Japan Earthquake. Partner corporations and organizations with which JCU has developed collaborative relationships over many years have played vital roles in implementing these activities.

Securing and transporting emergency relief supplies

© Japan Committee for UNICEF

On 13 March, just two days following the earthquake, JCU for the first time in history made the decision to launch assistance activities domestically within Japan. Thereafter, JCU commenced preparations so that emergency relief supplies would reach disaster victims at the earliest stage possible.

At first, all types of supplies were needed in the disaster area; however, it was extremely difficult to procure and transport those supplies to the affected areas. JCU first coordinated with the disaster management headquarters of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures in distributing drinking water donated from corporations to the disaster victims in those areas. Similarly, JCU was able to secure children’s diapers and wipes donated by P&G Corporation, a global partner corporation of UNICEF, and over 200,000 pairs of children’s underwear from AEON, who has assisted JCU for many years in implanting assistance activities for children in developing countries. Thanks to the cooperation of these partners JCU was able to promptly deliver the supplies to children in the disaster area.

© Japan Committee for UNICEF/2011/K.shindo

Logistics infrastructure had been severely damaged by the disaster and procuring gasoline was also a significant challenge. Faced with the challenges of securing trucks to transport supplies to the disaster areas, warehouses to serve as logistics centers in the outskirts of the disaster areas as well as trucks to drive from those warehouses to the disaster area, JCU utilized the deep-rooted networks of co-ops in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures, which have supported the public relations and fundraising aspects of UNICEF activities for more than 30 years. These co-ops assisted in transporting JCU’s emergency relief supplies to shelters in the disaster area, making it possible to ensure that supplies reached disaster victims as quickly as possible.

© Japan Committee for UNICEF

Moreover, Nissan Motor donated five four-wheel drive vehicles to JCU to assist with emergency assistance activities. These vehicles are being utilized to transport supplies and people to the disaster areas.

Picture on right: A four-wheel drive vehicle donated by Nissan Motor.

Psychological care for children and child protection

© UNICEF/2011/N.Imoto
Children playing on play mats donated by IKEA.

In response to growing concerns over the psychological impacts that the horrific disaster will bear on children, JCU has focused efforts on providing psychological care to children since the disaster.

Child Friendly Spaces were set up and operated at shelters and other locations for the purpose of easing the stress of children as much as possible and preventing that stress from developing into psychological problems. A grant was provided by Japan Airlines that allowed the swift transporting of the tools needed to conduct activities at the Child Friendly Spaces—Early Child Development Kits and recreations kits—from the UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen to Japan.

Furthermore, IKEA, a global partner of UNICEF, donated play mats, toys, drawing sets and other goods to be used at Child Friendly Spaces. The play mats, in particular, were very popular among the children as they created more comfortable places for children to play, rather than the cold floors of gymnasiums and other buildings. These mats have become a commonly recognized marker of Child Friendly Space locations.

Protecting mothers and infants

Life at the shelters continues to drag on and one of the concerns of staff engaged in assistance on-site is the nutritional situation of disaster victims. In response, various corporations have extended assistance, such as by providing supplements, to disaster victims. One of those corporations, Mannatech Japan, donated a caramel-like supplement that contains micronutrients. These efforts contribute to improving the nutritional condition of children.

Moreover, JCU plans to provide mopeds and cars so that municipal healthcare centers in disaster areas can restart traveling clinic and home-visit nursing activities. The production of cars and other vehicles has been severely affected as a result of the disaster, but we were nevertheless able to secure 18 mopeds and 39 cars through the cooperation of Honda DREAM Tokyo and Honda Cars Chuo Tokyo, providing those vehicles to local municipal governments.

© Japan Committee for UNICEF   © Honda DREAM Tokyo Co., Ltd.
    Mopeds delivered to Onagawa Town, Ishinomaki City and Minamisanriku Town in Miyagi Prefecture.

Back to School

JCU has implemented the Back to School campaign so that children in the disaster area are able to return to school by the new school year. We have extended assistance to over 200,000 children in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures so far. In Iwate Prefecture, with the cooperation of Kyokuto Associates we were able to create packaged sets of the necessary notebooks and school supplies for each grade, from primary to junior high school. We have delivered these sets to more than 17,000 children that attend schools in the disaster area thanks to the cooperation of the Iwate Prefecture School Co-op and Teacher’s Union. Moreover, similarly packaged sets were prepared by school co-ops in Miyagi Prefecture. JCU even acquired the assistance of ferry operators to help deliver these school supplies to children that live on islands that trucks cannot reach.

© Japan Committee for UNICEF   © Japan Committee for UNICEF   © Japan Committee for UNICEF
Volunteers traveled from Hiroshima, Okayama, Kagawa and Ehime Prefectures to assist with the packaging of school supplies.   A girl receiving supplies delivered to Takada Primary School in Iwate Prefecture.   A UNICEF Children’s Mini Library delivered to Oshima Children’s House in Kesennuma. Staff helped haul the books to the Children’s House from the ferry on their shoulders.

JCU will continue to implement assistance activities with the cooperation of its many partner corporations and organizations.

Current arrival status of relief supplies

Type of Emergency
Quantity Donating
Miyagi Water 19 Mar. 12,288
VanaH Co., Ltd. Two-liter plastic bottles
Fukushima Water 22 Mar. 12,672
VanaH Co., Ltd. Two-liter plastic bottles
Miyagi Underwear for boys and girls 22 Mar. 200,000    
Iwate Underwear for boys and girls 23 Mar. 30,000    
Fukushima Water 23 Mar. 4,680
KIRIN MC DANONE WATERS Co., Ltd. Two-liter plastic bottles
Miyagi Children’s shoes 23 Mar. 10,000
Miyagi Children’s diapers 24 Mar. 80 packs P&G Japan  
Iwate Children’s underwear 24 Mar. 9,700    
Fukushima Water 24 Mar. 12,288
VanaH Co., Ltd. Two-liter plastic bottles
Iwate Shoes 26 Mar 1,404 pairs Achilles Corporation  
Iwate Underwear for boys and girls 27 Mar. 28,266  
Iwate Boots 27 Mar. 7,462 pairs  
Iwate Wipes 28 Mar. 1,200 P&G Japan For babies
Miyagi Recreation kits
Early Childhood Development kits
2 Apr. 50 of each Procured from the UNICEF Supply Division
Iwate Recreation kits
Early Childhood Development kits
2 Apr. 50 of each Procured from the UNICEF Supply Division
Miyagi Book bags 6 Apr. 70 Nihon New Bag Chain
Iwate Book bags 6-7 Apr. 340 Seiban
Miyagi Schoolbags 8 Apr. 18,000 Procured from the UNICEF Supply Division
Iwate Schoolbags 8 Apr. 18,000 Procured from the UNICEF Supply Division
Miyagi Personal security buzzers (for crime prevention purposes) 8 Apr. 5,000
Iwate Personal security buzzers (for crime prevention purposes) 8 Apr. 5,000
Miyagi Minicar 8 Apr. 3 cars
Fukushima Water 11 Apr. 1,536 bottles VanaH Co., Ltd. Two-liter plastic bottles
Miyagi Replenishments for recreation kits 12 Apr. 60 sets
Miyagi Miniature toy cars 12 Apr. Approx. 1,200 TAKARA TOMY
Sagamihara* Water 12 Apr. 12,288 bottles VanaH Co., Ltd. Two-liter plastic bottles
Miyagi Play mats 13 Apr. Two types; 80 of each type IKEA
Miyagi Drawing sets 13 Apr. 60 sets IKEA
Iwate Preschool-size chairs, tables and low tables 14 Apr. 75 chairs; 11 tables; 9 low tables Donated to preschools, primary schools, junior high schools and high schools in the disaster area as well as their new locations
Miyagi Mopeds 15 Apr. 5
Iwate Notebooks and stationery sets for primary and junior high school students 15. Apr. 16,700 sets
Miyagi 183 computers; 57 copiers and fax machines; 61 printers 18-21 Apr. Distributed to preschools, primary schools, junior high schools and high schools in the disaster area as well as their new locations
Fukushima Movable blackboards 21 Apr. 10
Fukushima Temporary toilets 21 Apr. 20

Number of UNICEF Children’s Mini Libraries distributed: Approximately 250 (as of 28 April 2011)

*Areas receiving disaster victims.

*In certain cases some supplies may be taken from prefectural supply storage warehouses and distributed to shelters and disaster sites in other prefectures.
As of 9:00 a.m. on 28 April 2011 (compiled by the Information and Public Affairs Division).