We recently passed the one month anniversary of the devastating Japan earthquake and tsunami. Here is a breakdown of what UNICEF has been able to accomplish thus far:
- The Japan Committee for UNICEF and UNICEF visited the affected areas and conducted a rapid needs assessment within a week after the disaster and began fundraising specifically for this emergency relief;
- Japan Committee for UNICEF Emergency Response Team in Tokyo and field teams in Miyagi and Iwate were set up to start relief operations;
- In coordination with the local governments, the Japan committee for UNICEF delivered emergency relief supplies including children’s underwear, diapers, shoes and drinking water to Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures;
- Coordination with health delivery organizations is ongoing.Support for mothers and infants include temporary evacuation project for mothers and infants and joint breast-feeding guidelines;
- More than 60 UNICEF Mini-Libraries carrying books donated by the public have been established. Recreation kits have been procured and distributed to more than 10 locations as well as early childhood development kits containing items designed for teachers and caregivers in an emergency–everything from pencils and pads to puzzles and puppets;
- As the evacuation centers are closing down, support for “Back-to-Kindergarten” is being coordinated. Play therapy training for more than 130 teachers, volunteers and parents were already conducted with more to come.
The following activities are planned for the next 6 months:
- Distribution of emergency non-food items;
- Provision of Back-to-School kits and technical support to partners and local governments;
- Mother & baby care in partnership with Japanese medical and nutritional experts and bodies;
- Establishing child-friendly spaces in evacuation centers;
- Providing early childhood development kits and picture books (donated by the general public) to kindergartens and nurseries;
- Providing support to the most vulnerable children, including orphans, children in poor families and children with disabilities.