By Hler Gudjonsson
When the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant came into our field of vision, the Geiger counter started beeping, and as we drove closer the alarm became more and more intense. This route between Tomioka and Futaba was closed until September last year, and for a couple of kilometers abandoned homes lined both sides of the road. Driveways were barricaded and lawns had been left to grow wild.
By Hler Gudjonsson, IFRC
The Red Cross hospital in Ishinomaki was the only hospital to withstand the force of the Great East Japan earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March, 2011. In 2006, the hospital had been relocated to a new site 4.5 km from the coast. The new building was designed to withstand the most violent of earthquakes, and still be able to continue providing lifesaving medical services to the population. Despite the fact that the tsunami had swept through the city, destroying everything in its path, the hospital escaped unscathed.
By Hler Gudjonsson, IFRC
On March 11, 2011 the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami struck Yamada town, in Japan’s northern prefecture of Iwate. It was early in the afternoon and the children of Osawa Nursery School were just waking up from their afternoon naps. The teachers scrambled to evacuate the terrified children. Noriko Kawabata, the school principal, who had lived by the sea in Yamada town her whole life, knew that after an earthquake of this scale, there is always the risk of a tsunami.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – The Government of Japan has approved a $3 million grant to Afghanistan for a project which will improve the country’s main north-south road corridor transport route.
The agreement for the preparatory facility for the Salang Tunnel Project was signed recently between Hiroshi Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan and Thomas Panella, Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) Country Director for Afghanistan.
Addis Ababa February 27/2015 A research and training center that will help to boost rice production in Ethiopia in the coming five years will be built with the support of the government of Japan.
The agreement for the construction of the center was signed by the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
JICA and the Ethiopian government will cover the 10 million USD, which the project is expected to consume.
On February 16, from 6.30 p.m. for approximately 90 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a dinner meeting with Dr. Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority. An overview of the meeting is as follows.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomes the contribution of US$ 7.5 million by the Government of Japan for its activities in Sudan. With the support of the people of Japan, UNHCR will be able to support the Government of Sudan’s efforts in providing protection and assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as responding to the needs of internally displaced persons.
Addis Ababa February 26/2015
Japan has committed over one million USD for grassroots projects in Ethiopia.
The grant for 11 development projects was signed today by Japan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Kazuhiro Suzuki.
On March 14 - 18, experts from around the world will gather in Sendai, Japan for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). The meeting will lay down the guiding framework for how the world addresses natural disasters for the next 10 years.
Four years prior to the date of the WCDRR, a 9.0 earthquake struck 80 miles east of Sendai, sending 128 feet waves six miles inland. The Great East Japan Earthquake claimed the lives of 180,000 and caused $360 billion in damage. Many of the survivors were left with nothing and severely traumatized.
Japan has announced a new US$ 32.2 million contribution to UNRWA. The donation will support urgent relief and recovery needs in Gaza, emergency assistance for Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, and the continuation of essential UNRWA services in the occupied Palestinian territory, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
This donation is the largest ever one-time contribution from Japan to UNRWA. Japan’s total annual contribution in 2014 was US$ 28.3 million, a considerable increase from US$ 15.5 million in 2011.
Some 18,000 Beneficiaries to Receive Support to Alleviate Epidemic Trauma
MONROVIA, February 25, 2015 – The Liberian Government and the World Bank Group in partnership with the Government of Japan, today launched a new $3 million project to address the psychological effects of Liberia’s Ebola crisis and to promote psychosocial health in the country. The ceremony was held at the World Bank Liberia Office.
CONGO BRAZZAVILLE, (CONGOSITE) - L’ambassadeur du Japon en République du Congo, Shigeru Ushio, a remis le 24 février à Brazzaville, un don de vivres à la ministre des Affaires sociales, de l’Action humanitaire et de la Solidarité, Émilienne Raoul, destiné aux réfugiés de la République centrafricaine (RCA) et de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) installés dans le département de la Likouala au Congo.
On February 24, the Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of 6 million US dollars through international organizations including the World Food Programme (WFP) in support of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), etc. affected by cold wave.
Responding to the longer-term needs after the catastrophic May 2014 floods, the Government of Japan pledged to the 6.2 million BAM funding for two projects: Landslide Disaster Risk Management and Repair and Reconstruction of Centers for Disabled Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The decision was today announced by Japanese Ambassador to BiH Hideo Yamazaki, in the presence of UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Zahira Virani and IOM Officer in Charge Harry Smith. The launch of both one-year projects is planned for March 2015.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Following catastrophic floods in May 2014, the Government of Japan yesterday (23/2) committed 6.2 million Bosnian Marks (USD 700,000) for two one-year projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
IOM will implement the BM 1.2 million Repair and Reconstruction of Centres for Disabled Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina project, which will repair and reconstruct five centres for children with disabilities, which were seriously damaged in the May 2014 floods.
Fighting that broke out on 9 Feb between the Government of Myanmar Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and other armed groups has continued in the Kokang self-administered zone, northeast Shan State.
Japan - The Japanese Government has committed additional funds to support IOM’s operations in the face of increasingly complex humanitarian crises.
From its “supplementary budget FY2014,” the Japanese Government will avail a total of US$31.5 million to support IOM activities for vulnerable migrants, internally displaced persons, returnees and affected communities.
Japan will support municipalities in Serbia this year with a USD 3.64 million grant aimed at increasing local-level resilience and preparedness to respond to disasters. The 12-months-long project will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Project will benefit communities in at least 27 municipalities in Serbia, totaling some 1.3 million inhabitants, which have been identified by Serbian government as the most affected by last year’s devastating floods.
Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations,
241st & 242nd Meetings (AM & PM)
Continuing its 2015 session today, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations tackled a plethora of peacekeeping concerns from the use of new technology and civilian protection mandates to pre-deployment planning and training to troop reimbursement rates.
On Tuesday, February 17, the Government of Japan decided to provide emergency relief goods worth six million yen (Blankets, Sleeping pads, etc.) to the Republic of Albania, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in response to the request from the Government of the Republic of Albania following serious damage from the floods in the country.