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Press Releases & Updates

09 MAR 2012

Japan Earthquake One Year On

One year ago, on 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit northeast Japan – the largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history.

The earthquake and tsunami killed 15,782 people, and 4,986 people remain missing, according to the Japanese NGO Centre for International Cooperation. Economic loss is estimated between US$20-32 billion.

Oxfam responded quickly in the disaster, conducting needs assessments in the affected areas, and developing a response plan to address gaps in the provision of assistance, information and services for about 250,000 women and immigrants. The priority in Oxfam’s programmes is to assist those who are marginalized: at-risk women (such as pregnant women and mothers), children (especially babies and infants), ethnic minorities (especially people who do not speak Japanese) and people with disabilities (especially women).Oxfam plans to allocate about HK$750 million (US$965,170) for programmes within the first 18 months, with exactly HK$3,161,765 generously donated by the Hong Kong public.

Overall, Oxfam has provided cash and food assistance for more than 900 pregnant women and mothers, food for young children, and a hotline and counselling services for about 9,000 people. For ethnic minority people, we arranged for multi-lingual translation services, over 20,060 portable and solar-powered radios, and multi-lingual radio broadcasts, DVDs, websites and leaflets (more than 7,000 copies).

Oxfam’s response is planned for an 18-month period, mostly in 5 prefectures: Aomori, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Iwate and Miyagi, and in partnership with 5 national organisations: FACIL, Japan Women’s Shelter Network, JOICFP, Single Mother’s Forum and Women’s Network East Japan Disaster.

The response is now in the post-disaster reconstruction phase. Oxfam and its partners across Japan will continue to work to strengthen humanitarian response coordination and to advocate gender equality in disaster risk reduction and recovery.