Kumamoto Earthquakes: Soup kitchen, food procurement, assessment.

 AAR Japan team forms three teams to provide aid: soup kitchen, aid delivery, and need assessment

In response to the earthquakes that rocked Kumamoto prefecture on April 14, Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR Japan) dispatched the emergency response team consisting of four staff members including a board member, Ben Kato; Kazuya Omuro; Shinichiro Ohara; and Masayuki Okada. Masaru Miki joined the team on April 17, followed by Go Igarashi and Yuta Funakoshi  on April 18. 
On April 18, the emergency response team formed three teams to provide aid. The team responsible for soup kitchen collaborated with The Peace Project, an NPO, and served curry to 150 people for lunch and curry and gyūdon (beef bowl) to 800 people for dinner at the Iino Primary School in the town of Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture. Due to capacity constraints of evacuation centers, some survivors found shelter in areas close by, such as community centers. With the help of volunteers, hot meals were served not only to survivors residing in evacuation centers, but also to those residing in areas within proximity of evacuation centers.

After receiving notice that aid has not yet reached Aso and South Aso, Kato’s team visited Aso’s Elderly Nursing Care, Health and Rehabilitation Center – Hibari, areas isolated due to poor transportation conditions. Kato’s team heard that water and electricity supply have been stopped and that water and food are scarce in these areas. Kato’s team served bread to 50 people residing in these facilities. Water and bread were served to 100 people at the Tateno Primary School in the town of South Aso.

The team led by Igarashi has been responsible for the procurement of emergency goods, primarily sanitary products, in Fukuoka city and sharing information on the status of aid and news regarding affected areas with other organizations. Obtaining information on the status of aid provided to areas and conducting need assessment are an integral part of aid activities. In addition to evacuation centers, Igarashi’s team visits facilities for people with disabilities (PWDs) to assess local needs.
Delivery of water and bread to the nursing home for the aged in the isolated town of Aso( Ben Kato (right) April 18th, 2016)

Long line for hot meals at the Ino Primary School (Masaru Miki (left,) April18th,2016)

Delivery of water and bread to 100 people at the Tateno Primary School in the isolated town of South Aso (Shinichiro Ohara (Second person from the right,) April 18th, 2016)

Although much emergency goods have been sent to affected areas from across Japan, aid is still in need. As needs change over time, AAR will continue to deliver timely and appropriate aid to affected areas. AAR will also continue to assess ways to deliver aid to persons that are least likely to receive aid, such as the elderly and PWDs.
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