International Community Continues to Back Japan Quake Relief, Rescue Efforts

A crew of rescuers from the UK work in heavy snow in Japan. Pledges of financial aid and assistance to rescue and relief operations keep pouring into the country following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Photo by: Ed Hawkesworth / DfID / CC BY

Pledges of financial aid and assistance to rescue and relief operations from the international community keep pouring into Japan as the country continues to address the destruction caused by March 11’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake.

Aid pledges

Slovakian Prime Minister Iveta Radičová has offered €250,000 ($347,000) for humanitarian efforts, which she said will be coursed through the European Union’s coordinated response. Slovakia is also organizing a rescue team that can be deployed as requested, the prime minister said March 14.

South Korea said March 15 it is ready to provide financial assistance and relief supplies should Japan make an official request. Meantime, the South Korean Red Cross has pledged $1 million for its Japanese counterpart.

Technical expertise

Canada has offered technical assistance to Japan, including a 17-member disaster victim identification team and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear experts. The country said March 15 it is also ready to send equipment and military forces to aid the relief and rescue efforts.

Canada is offering an array of expertise and technical assistance to the government of Japan as part of international efforts to help Japan respond to and recover from the devastating earthquake.

The European Commission’s Civil Protection Mechanism has begun coordinating the European Union’s response to the crisis following a request from the Japanese government for blankets, mattresses, water bottles and tanks, and water purification units. Sweden and France have already offered assistance, according to a news release from the commission.

A disaster assessment and coordination team from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has been dispatched to Tokyo to coordinate the influx of international assistance coming to the country.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.