“Donations of more than 860 million dollars have been raised in Japan for those affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. However, little progress has been made in discussions on how to distribute the funds as the damage is too extensive for local authorities to grasp.
Almost 3 weeks after the quake, Japanese Red Cross Society has so far received donations worth about 716 million. About 146 million dollars has been donated to the welfare corporation, the Central Community Chest of Japan. The total amount is far greater than the donations collected within the same period after the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck Kobe and neighboring areas in western Japan.
Committees set up by affected prefectures and related organizations are supposed to decide how to allocate the donations to each stricken region.
However, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures have been unable to grasp the extent of the damage and have yet to set up such committees. The total number of the dead and missing in the 2 prefectures continues to rise.
The Japanese Red Cross Society and Central Community Chest of Japan are proposing setting up a single committee to centralize efforts to distribute the funds.
Shunsuke Mitsui of the Japanese Red Cross Society says that in the Great Hanshin Earthquake, the first round of cash distributions was made 20 days after the quake. He says Friday marks 3 weeks after the disaster in northeastern Japan, but it’s unclear when the distributions can start.”
Thursday, March 31, 2011 19:10 +0900 (JST)