Ways to donate to Japan, Pacific relief efforts

An aerial view of Sendai, Japan after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami. Photo by: U.S. Navy / CC BY

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy and one of the most earthquake-ready countries, is reeling from the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck March 11 near its coast and triggered a massive tsunami, critically damaging a nuclear plant. Prime Minister Naoto Kan called Friday’s series of events “the biggest crisis Japan has encountered in the 65 years since the end of World War II.”

International assistance is beginning to pour into the Asian country. Bilateral donors have pledged financial aid and are sending rescue teams and equipment. Numerous international organizations are also joining the relief effort and several are raising funds for tsunami and earthquake victims.

Below are ways to donate money to some of these organizations:

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)Donate

ADRA has committed an initial $30,000 and sent an assessment team to affected areas to prepare a broader response. ADRA Japan is providing food and shelter to train passengers stranded in Tokyo. In addition to online donations, the organization is accepting U.S. donations through 800-424-ADRA (2372).

American Jewish Joint Distribution CommitteeDonate

JDC, the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, and the Jewish Community of Japan are distributing emergency supplies in the worst-hit areas through Japanese NGO JEN. JDC is also working with the Afya Foundation to provide a critically needed water shipment.

American Red CrossDonate

The American Red Cross is accepting financial donations that will be used to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and throughout the Pacific. The organization said it is in close contact with its chapters across the Pacific region and stands ready to provide assistance as needed. The Japanese Red Cross, which is leading local earthquake and tsunami response, has indicated it will accept financial aid from the American Red Cross.

Aside from donations through its website, the American Red Cross has launched a Facebook campaign to raise at least $25,000. The U.S. public can also donate $10 by sending REDCROSS to 90999.

Care InternationalDonate

Care International generally responds only in developing countries with limited capacity to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters. It said it decided to assist the Japan earthquake and tsunami response given the extent of the disaster. Care highlighted the need for food, drinking water, fuel, medical items and blankets.

Canadian Medical Assistance TeamsDonate

CMAT has deployed an assessment team to Japan to prepare for the arrival of a CMAT inflatable field hospital, medical supplies and volunteers in the coming days. The organization has launched a nationwide relief campaign that aims to raise at least $20,000 to buy a high-volume water purification system that will be used in affected communities.

Catholic Relief ServicesDonate

CRS personnel across the Pacific region are on standby to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Its sister program, Caritas Japan, is assessing needs in the country while CRS programs in the Philippines, Indonesia and in Latin American countries and Caritas Oceania are on alert.

Doctors Without BordersDonate

Médecins Sans Frontières has sent medical teams to aid the government-led tsunami and earthquake response in Japan. MSF teams are running mobile clinics as well as conducting needs assessments to determine the full scope of its response.


Global Giving is collaborating with Save the Children, International Medical Corps and other organizations working on the ground in Japan to provide immediate relief. It set a funding goal of $850,000. Global Giving said it will announce details shortly on the specific use of raised funds.


Google is accepting donations for the Japanese Red Cross. It has also set up an online crisis response center and person finder to aid relief efforts.

International Medical CorpsDonate

The International Medical Corps emergency response team in Japan is coordinating with local officials to support response efforts and fill critical gaps. In particular, the team is assessing post-disaster conditions and preparing supplies for delivery to earthquake-affected areas, particularly those that have not yet been reached. The team will also provide logistical support to local authorities when needed.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent SocietiesDonate

IFRC has set up a solidarity fund for individuals and communities affected by the tsunami and earthquake. Donations to the fund will support the Japanese Red Cross Society’s disaster relief efforts.

Mercy CorpsDonate

Mercy Corps is working to help earthquake and tsunami survivors through its partner local organization, Peace Winds Japan.

Oxfam JapanDonate

Oxfam Japan has begun assisting national rescue efforts. It is ready to provide food, water and logistical support as needed. The organization has also launched an appeal for funds to support the works of two local groups: the Japan Organization for International Cooperation on Family Planning, which assists mother and babies, and FACIL, which provides information to non-Japanese speakers living in Japan.

Salvation ArmyDonate

The Salvation Army in Japan dispersed teams in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. The teams are now working in the hardest-hit areas, distributing basic supplies to survivors. The Salvation Army is assessing the damage to determine how it can further help ongoing relief efforts.

Save the ChildrenDonate

Save the Children has deployed emergency response teams to assess the needs of children and their families in the Miyagi prefecture and other areas battered by the tsunami and earthquake. The organization has set up the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund to support its relief efforts and responses to children’s needs.

World Food ProgramDonate

WFP is seeking donations to fund the specialized logistic support it is providing to deliver water, tents and blankets in hardest-hit areas around Japan.

World VisionDonate

World Vision is appealing for $10 million to fund its reponse, which it says will focus on children. It has sent emergency relief staff to assess and respond to the immediate needs of tsunami and earthquake survivors. It is also sending a team from Tokyo to assist relief distributions and the set-up of child-friendly spaces in affected-areas. World Vision accepts online donations and $10 text donations made by sending ‘4JAPAN’ to 20222.

Please let us know of additional ways to support the post-tsunami relief efforts in the Pacific, by leaving a comment below or e-mailing news@devex.com.

About the author

  • 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.