Period covered by this report: 1 April 2013 – 30 June 2013
Establishment of Nuclear Disaster Information Centre within the Japanese Red Cross Society National Headquarters (JRCS NHQ) is underway. The purpose of the centre is to gather recent experience, various data and information on nuclear disasters and their humanitarian effects from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and contribute to develop a nuclear disaster prepardness strategy of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC). This centre will be linked with the National Diet Library
A JRCS operational manual for relief activities in response to nuclear disasters was produced in March, with the support of nuclear disaster experts, both internal and external.
It was released to JRCS Chapters and media. JRCS was also invited to join in a pilot programme training on Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear (CBRN) disaster response, organised by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). JRCS sent a Senior Advisor from the Nuclear Disaster Preparedness Task Force and shared the operational manual during the training.
A further distribution of five Whole Body Counters (WBC) was completed from May to June for municipalities in Fukushima. The distribution of other two WBC is underway.
The construction of a psychosocial support centre for children and youth in Iwate was completed and the opening ceremony was held in May. This centre is run by the Iwate Medical University Hospital (IMUH) to support children and youth who have psychosomatic symptoms or incidences of absenteeism from school due to traumatic experiences or loss.
The centre is intended to address the needs for psychological support, professional counseling and, in some cases, appropriate medication, which have been increasing since the disaster.
Mobile dental care services started in the middle of April, provided by the Miyagi Dental Association (MDA). JRCS provided 11 dentistry sets, each comprised of dental care kits, mobile X-ray machines, sterilizers, generators, medical supplies and five vehicles in March.
During this period, 281 patients were treated.
JRCS provided financial support to a fishery union in Iwaki, Fukushima, which partially funded the rebuilding of a fishing boat. A launching ceremony was held in Kesennuma at the beginning of July, in time for use in the seasonal fishing of Pacific saury.
The construction of an after-class centre for school children was completed on the ground of a school in Ofunato in June. Since the disaster, after-class services had been run by the parents’ voluntary association without a proper facility. Thus, this after-class centre is greatly needed and awaited by the community, due to the changed environment for children and their families after the tsunami. This centre can accommodate up to 30 children.
JRCS again organises summer camps in Hokkaido in 2013 to provide children with opportunities to recuperate emotionally as well as to learn from each other for their personal growth. This year, another objective was added: “broadening the perspective for the future.” There will be nine sessions with over 2,300 participants. From April to June, JRCS collected applications from would-be participants and organised several instruction courses for some 800 volunteers and camp staff who consist of Red Cross volunteers, members from 17 private sector stakeholders, teachers, nurses, clinical psychotherapists and travel agency staff as well as JRCS NHQ staff. The first batch of the camp started in July.
JRCS is supporting municipalities in the affected areas in strengthening their preparedness for future disasters. In April, JRCS started the procurement and distribution of storage facilities, relief equipment and material for targeted municipalities. So far, 109 storage units have been sent to 10 municipalities. All distribution will be completed by December 2013.
An external evaluation, commissioned by JRCS and IFRC continued throughout this reporting period. This evaluation focuses on recovery and rehabilitation during the first two years after the disaster and follows up on the external JRCS/IFRC evaluation conducted in 2011. The team visited disaster areas and met programme beneficiaries, officials of municipality and prefecture offices in the affected areas in order to conduct their research from February to March 2013. The final evaluation report is expected to be released in September.
The budget of the JRCS relief and recovery programme stands at JPY 59.8 billion of which 70.4 per cent (JPY 42.1 billion) has been spent by the end of June 2013.