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One year after a 9.0-earthquake struck Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami and subsequent radiation crisis, International Medical Corps is expanding its network of local partners to deliver critical health, mental health and livelihoods services to affected communities. An International Medical Corps emergency response team was on-the-ground within 48 hours of the disaster, assessing needs and coordinating with the Japanese government.

While Japan has significant disaster response capacity, the magnitude of the tragedy compelled us to respond. In the 12 months since the earthquake, we have:

Reached 20,000 people at evacuation centres with medications, food and basic supplies

Trained 85 counsellors and 93 frontline workers in Psychological First Aid (PFA)

Hosted a psychosocial conference in partnership with Tohoku University aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of Japanese mental health professionals

Partnered with Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR) to distribute household items like heaters and cooking supplies for 300 evacuee families struggling to rebuild their lives

Partnered with local organization, Shapla Neer, to create a community space for evacuees living in temporary housing where they can interact with peers, seek counselling, and receive information on assistance programs.

Partnered with International Volunteer Centre of Yamagata (IVY) to provide cash-for-work opportunities in Miyagi Prefecture, where 16,000 people were killed and another 40,000 displaced as a result of the tsunami. The jobs focus on reconstruction activities, such as mud and debris cleaning, which will help many people return to their homes.

 

International Medical Corps will continue to develop programmes with local partners to address ongoing humanitarian needs and support communities in becoming more resilient. 

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