News / Asia

Red Cross Launches Huge Tsunami Relief Effort

Japanese Red Cross Society worker feeds baby at relief center
Japanese Red Cross Society worker feeds baby at relief center
Lisa Schlein

The International Red Cross Federation says more than two million Japanese Red Cross volunteers are involved in a huge operation to assist millions of earthquake and tsunami survivors, in what is considered to be Japan’s worst disaster since World War II.  To date, more than 2,700 people are confirmed dead, more than 3,700 are missing and nearly half a million are homeless. 

According to IFRC, the Japanese Red Cross has deployed mobile clinics to towns to assist survivors who remain without electricity and have little water.  It has dispatched 115 National Disaster Response Teams and nearly 1,000 medical staff.

Counseling offered


Red Cross spokesman, Paul Conneally says more than 2,600 trained psycho-social nurses are on the ground in the affected areas.  He says they will be playing an increasingly important role in the coming weeks and months; helping tsunami survivors deal with the loss of their families, friends, livelihoods and possessions.

"Also, they have an incredible resource of two million volunteers, trained volunteers, covering all sorts of needs from helicopter pilots, to cooks, to first aid," Conneally said.  "So, they really are a national society which is extremely well-positioned to both assess the situation and respond to the situation as it unfolds, despite the major challenges."  

Relief effort

Right now, the Japanese Red Cross says it has the capacity to deal with the massive relief operation and it is not asking for international assistance.  However, it says it does welcome cash donations to help the recovery efforts.

Besides the devastating effects of the tsunami, Japan also has to deal with the consequences of the potentially harmful effects of radiation leaks from its tsunami-damaged nuclear facilities.

The JRC has nuclear decontamination teams throughout the country.  They are working closely with the government to prepare people for further medical treatment.

Priorities

But, Red Cross Under-Secretary General for Program Services, Matthias Schmale, says for now the Japanese Red Cross'  priorities are to deal with the needs of tsunami survivors and not with the effects of the nuclear accidents.

"What concerns us about the nuclear catastrophe is how it might affect the tsunami response operation," Schmale explained. "So we are not, as such, responding to the nuclear disaster because humanitarian needs around this are not clear at this stage.  What is very clear is the fate of the survivors of the tsunami and their loved ones.  And that is the priority."  

Immediate priorities include search and rescue, caring for the displaced, providing basic relief to the affected population, and psychological counseling.

The Red Cross says it is also extremely important to help the elderly.  They comprise about 30 percent of the population and are extremely vulnerable.  

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid