Triple disaster situation report

5 April 2011

Situation Highlights

- In addition to the loss of lives and livelihoods, many are now facing the potential effects of nuclear radiation in the aftermath of the unprecedented triple disaster triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the North East coast of Japan on 11 March, 2011.
- With thousands of families still living in temporary shelters, addressing the unique needs of children is especially critical.
- As of 28 March, US$12,638,316 (HK$98.6 million) has been raised for emergency operation in Japan.
Humanitarian needs and response

The Japan Committee for UNICEF (JCU), with support of UNICEF’s Tokyo Office, has been providing emergency relief assistance for children and their families in the earthquake and tsunami-affected areas – mainly Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

JCU has been dispatching its staff and volunteers to carry out operations on the ground. UNICEF Headquarters have also deployed 2 health experts, 2 education experts, 1 child protection expert, 1 logistics expert and 1 JPO to JCU for technical assistance.A field team has been also established since the beginning of the emergency to carry out assessments and delivery of supplies and services.




Supplies (Mainly in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures)

- Within 1 week of the earthquake, JCU had sent 2 trucks loaded with 13 tonnes of water each to distribution centre in Miyagi Prefecture, while another 10 tonnes of water arrived at the evacuation centres in Sendai and Miyagi on 21 March.
- Large amounts of other essential items such as children’s clothing, under-wears, diapers, baby wipes and toys have been provided to the affected population.
 
- JCU is mobilising its well-established network of partners, including the private sector, schools, religious groups and volunteers, in gathering supplies and delivering them to shelters.
 
- 10 sets of School-in-a-Box, 20 sets of Recreation Kits, 20 sets of Early Childhood Development (ECD) Kits arrived in Japan on 23 March, in response to the education and psychosocial needs of children.
 
- 100 ECD kits that fit into the Japanese context (by adding Japanese toys) will be procured from UNCIEF Supply Division in Copenhagen.


Education and Child Protection

- More than 260,000 people have been evacuated, including an estimated 49,000 children. The situation remains fluid with evacuees often moving from shelter to shelter on a daily basis.
- Many children are still coming to terms with what has happened. There is a great need for psychosocial support, particularly when they are being separated from their family and friends.
- In close coordination with the local government, JCU has set up 7 Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) in Miyagi with ECD Kits and Recreation Kits as of 30 March. The same efforts currently being made in Iwate. JCU’s and local volunteers, including students, are actively participating. Training of volunteers will be conducted to scale up, manage and monitor CFS.
- JCU will run a Back-to-School campaign to time with the new school year, which starts late April. The School-in-a-Box will be prepared locally. Other school supplies, including desks, chairs and school bags, will be also provided. JCU is also planning on a "Back-to-Kindergarten" campaign.
- The Mini-Library Initiative has collected children’s books from the public and has been sent off to CFS and schools.

Health

JCU, together with UNICEF staff, has been providing technical assistance to the prefectural emergency response team. A rapid needs assessment has also been made.

- Support for breast-feeding mothers is underway. JCU is currently working with partners to distribute information message/sheetand telephone-based peer support system for continuing breast-feedingin collaboration with Japanese breast-feeding societies.
 
- Coordination underway with various organisations for the delivery of emergency medical relief, paediatric care, mental care, temporary evacuation of baby and mothers among others.
 
- Coordination underway to assess and monitor nutrient needs of the affected population.