Distribution of Masks to Fight against COVID-19 In Cooperation with Eisai

A Congolese refugee and health volunteer (left), receives a mask at the Kyangwali refugee settlement in western Uganda on April 29.

AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) will distribute 250,000 masks to three African countries (Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia) in cooperation with the major pharmaceutical company Eisai Co. The first shipment arrived at a refugee settlement in western Uganda and was distributed to staff working on health and medical activities.

In the Kyangwali refugee settlement in western Uganda, where refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are living, 119 cases of COVID-19 infection have been confirmed and one of them has died so far. In addition to the limited number of clinics and medical personnel, there is an absolute shortage of masks. There is also an insufficient response to other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.

100,000 masks were delivered to the Kyangwali refugee settlement, and AAR Uganda office decided to distribute them to 246 health volunteers and 79 community leaders who are engaged in hygiene awareness activities in clinics and settlements after consulting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and medical support organizations.

UNHCR doctors and health volunteers explain about the masks delivered from Japan, at the Kyangwali refugee settlement on April 29.

Ronarld Lubega, a Ugandan doctor from UNHCR, said, "I would like to thank everyone who sent masks from as far away as Japan. The masks will be used effectively to prevent infectious diseases in the refugee settlements. “

Mr. Jauyambe Marki, a Congolese refugee and health volunteer, said, "In our health care activities, we are sometimes called for urgent care in the middle of the night, and masks are essential to prevent infection when dealing with patients. There is a great lack of medical supplies for the health volunteers, so the support from Japan is very helpful.”

AAR and Eisai are jointly implementing a project to combat mycetoma, one of the neglected tropical diseases, in Sudan. In response to the request by Eisai for 250,000 masks to be used in the fight against COVID-19 in Africa, AAR conducted a needs assessment through its field offices and decided on the recipients of the masks. In addition to Uganda, 120,000 masks will be sent to a COVID-19 control center hospital in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and 30,000 masks will be sent to clinics in Zambia, where refugees from neighboring countries have been resettled.

Since last year, AAR has been delivering masks and disinfectants to welfare facilities for persons with disabilities and disability-related organizations in Japan, as well as distributing hygiene products and foodstuffs to refugees, persons with disabilities, and impoverished families in 13 foreign countries as emergency support. 

COVID-19 disaster has been affecting the most vulnerable people in society. As everyone in the world is equally threatened by the virus, we believe that mutual compassion and solidarity will be the key to overcoming this unprecedented crisis.

We would like to ask for your understanding and support for our efforts.


Risks of Explosive devices ~ On International Mine Awareness Day~

 According to the latest data from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), an international network in which AAR Japan participates, the number of confirmed deaths and injuries due to landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in 2019 rose to 5,554 in 55 countries and territories. That is a 60% increase from 3,457 in 2013. 

Seiji Konno of the AAR Tokyo Office reports on the current status of landmine issues.

HALO staff working to clear landmines in Afghanistan, with financial support from AAR (June 2019).


10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake

10 years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

AAR Japan began providing emergency assistance in the affected areas immediately after the disaster struck and continued long-term assistance for this ten years. 

We would like to report on our activities that became possible with everyone's support.


Emergency Relief for Earthquake in Tohoku


  We would like to express our deepest sympathy to all those who have been affected by the earthquake that struck the Tohoku region on February 13, 2011 (Fukushima Earthquake). 

  Immediately after the earthquake struck, AAR Japan began confirming the safety of people concerned and organizations in the affected areas and has been gathering information. As a result, it became clear that there are needs for assistance in repairing welfare facilities for persons with disabilities in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, where AAR had been providing support since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and in distributing water and other supplies to welfare facilities for people with disabilities in areas where the water supply had been cut off. Thus, AAR will begin to support the victims of the earthquake. 

  Starting February 16, AAR will begin preparing relief supplies and from February 18, we start distributing large water tanks, drinking water, food, and other emergency relief supplies mainly to facilities for persons with disabilities. (Staff members who will be coming to the area from Tokyo will begin relief activities upon receiving negative results from the COVID-19 test. 

  We would like to ask for your cooperation. Please donate.

  Thank you.


Handcrafted Soap Distribution in Refugee Camps: Countermeasures against COVID-19

Since August, AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) has been promoting the "Soap Campaign" along with emergency fundraising to fight the COVID-19. AAR staff members who had temporarily returned to Japan are now going back to their resident offices and distributing the soap sent by our supporters. This is a report from Uganda and Bangladesh.

Children smile as they receive soaps from AAR staff. In the center of the front row is Aya Fujita (November 16, 2020)


Torrential Rains in Kyushu : Donating a Pick-up Vehicle to a PWD Facility

 Donation of a pick-up vehicle 


Three months after the torrential rains in Kyushu in early July 2020the areas affected by the disaster are still struggling to restore their daily life. Right after the disaster, AAR JAPAN started to support the welfare facilities for PWDs in the affected area, and in late September, we donated a pick-up vehicle to one of the local NPOs named “Workshop Hinatabokko. 

The pick-up vehicle donated to the workshop “Hinatabokko” and its users  (Amakusa City in Kumamoto, October 15th, 2020) 


Hygiene products distributed to victims of the Turkey earthquake

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey on October 30 killed 115 people mostly in the city of Izmir.   


The Turkish government and aid agencies continue to support the displaced people as well as the demolition of collapsed buildings. AAR Japan, in cooperation with the local NGO "Support to life" (STL), has been providing emergency relief by distributing hygiene kits.