The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Louis Belanger (US) +1-917-224-0834,
Matthew Grainger (UK) +44(0)7730-680837,

Tsunami Appeal: Oxfam Japan to Fund Two Partners Helping Mothers and Babies, and Non-Japanese nationals


Oxfam Japan is appealing for public donations for two partner organizations, one that is assisting mothers and babies and the other providing information to non-Japanese speakers living in Japan.

Japan is one of the most advanced nations in the world in dealing with natural disasters and has accepted international help in only a few specific areas. It is important that ad-hoc efforts to help do not undermine the coordination of the state's overall relief efforts, especially now that explosions at a nuclear facility and radiation levels are complicating efforts to assist those affected from the Mar 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"The Japanese state has the means to reach 99% of the population but there will always be some who need more specific assistance," said Oxfam Japan Executive Director, Akiko Mera, from Tokyo.

Ms. Mera said that Oxfam Japan will channel funds to the Japan Organization for International Cooperation on Family Planning (JOICFP). Together with the Japanese Midwives' Association and local doctors, the groups will help breast-feeding mothers by providing them with privacy and their babies with diapers and other products. They are offering counseling to women under high stress.

Another partner - the multi-language center FACIL - is helping non-Japanese speaking nationals living in affected areas. FACIL was set up as a response to the Kobe earthquake in 1995. It has set up a hotline for people to get information and is translating and re-publishing information put out by local authorities. There are an estimated 40,000 non-Japanese speakers in affected areas.

Most international NGOs like Oxfam are standing-by to assist on the invitation of leading local authorities, and are otherwise providing specialist help as described here.

National Oxfam affiliates will forward public donations received in their own markets into Oxfam Japan, which will disburse to its two partners. Oxfam Japan will explore work with other partners as time progesses.

Oxfam Japan is primarily an advocacy organization. Its Tokyo offices were damaged in the quake but none of its staff were hurt.

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Donate directly to Oxfam Japan

You can also donate via these Oxfam 2011 Earthquake/Tsunami Emergency Appeals. All donations to Oxfam will go toward Oxfam Japan's 2011 Earthquake/Tsunami Emergency Appeal.:

Oxfam International is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.