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How to Help Japan in the Aftermath of the Earthquake and Tsunami

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 16 March 2011

What’s happening in Japan is tragic. Arguably even worse than the effects of the earthquakes and the crushing tsunami are the unfolding nuclear and humanitarian crises – thousands of deaths; hundreds of thousands displaced; millions without food, clean water, electricity or medicine; and fears associated with widespread and long-lasting radiation leaks.

Rather than dwell on the much-reported disaster, the WHL Group hopes you will join the global effort to help reach everyone distress. Below you will find an assortment of programs through which you can make a show of solidarity.

Fortunately, in a highly developed country like Japan, the resources and readiness to respond to the immediate crisis are in place; the country’s government has already begun a massive mobilisation to forestall any further calamity and eventually repair the aftermath.

Given this, we agree with statements from some global relief organisations that now is not the time to saddle Japan’s leaders with the burden of coordinating external aid, no matter how well meaning it may be. (In any case, the world has other regions of extreme need but without the infrastructure of a place like Japan.)

Therefore, if you are able to give, we encourage you to focus your generosity on (1) relief groups already on the ground and with a long history of connection to Japan, and (2) local organisations that will find themselves targeting support for vulnerable individuals, groups and communities that my slip through the cracks of national emergency programs.

The enormity of the challenges in Japan are such that the inevitable limitations of human and material endurance will lead inevitably (perhaps sooner than expected) to need. In anticipation of that, please do not hesitate to donate now.

In addition to what follows, Google Crisis Response has created its 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsuanmi page, which is especially useful for anyone in search of “information regarding the disaster and damage with realtime updates.”

Where and How to Give

+ American Red Cross (for the Japanese Red Cross Society in Japanese, look here)
+ Authors for Japan
+ Crowdrise
+ Doctors Without Borders
+ Global Giving
+ International Medical Corps
+ Japan Ecolodge Association
+ Japan Platform
+ Mercy Corps
+ Network for Good
+ Oxfam America
+ Salvation Army
+ Save the Children
+ Unicef
+ World Vision

In the US, text donations (added to your monthly cell/mobile phone bills) are possible through the following services:
+ American Red Cross: text ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999 to donate $10
+ Global Giving: text ‘JAPAN’ to 50555 to donate $10
+ International Medical Corps: text ‘MED’ to 80888 to donate $10
+ Salvation Army: text ‘JAPAN’ or ‘QUAKE’ to 80888 to donate $10
+ Save the Children: text ‘JAPAN’ or ‘TSUNAMI’ to 20222 to donate $10
+ World Vision: text ‘4JAPAN’ to 20222 to donate $10

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Ethan Gelber

In addition to his freelance travel writing (Lonely Planet author, ex-AFAR Ambassador, Huffington Post Travel blogger and more), Ethan has agitated tirelessly for responsible/sustainable travel practices, family travel, keeping things local, and quality and relevance in publishing and destination marketing. Among many other things, Ethan is editorial director of the Family Travel Association, a co-founder of OutBounding, and tackles content projects for HomeExchange.com and RW Social, which produces the NY Trav Fest. Previously, Ethan was Chief Communications Officer of the WHL Group, for which he founded and edited The Travel Word (this now-independent blog); publications manager of the French government tourist office (Atout France) in NYC; and helped manage a Paris-based bicycle tour operator.
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Asia, Eastern Asia, health, homelessness, how to, Japan, natural disasters,

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