Unequal Distribution of Assistance Becomes Visible

On Wednesday, March 23, the AAR JAPAN’s Emergency Relief Team continued its operation in central Miyagi, covering 8 places in Sendai City, and 2 more in a town of Minami-Sanriku, delivering items which included food, clothes, diapers, toilet paper, kerosene and fuel oil.

Some People Get More, Some Less

Asahigaoka Community Center, one of the facilities visited on March 23, is a shelter for approximately 40 people.  Some of them barely survived the Tsunami by holding onto a piece of plank; some were trapped in their own houses when the Tsunami washed them away.  The average age of the survivors is 80 years old.
Survivors at Asahigaoka Community Center survived the horrifying onslaught of Tsunami (left, Ben KATO, Board Member of AAR JAPAN).

When the Team handed a package of sweet-bean cake, a staff member of the Center smilingly said it would make everybody happy.  He also told the Team that the elderly were experiencing difficulty using a makeshift toilet set up outside, especially at night because there were no lights available yet.

At Utazu Junior High School in Minami-Sanriku, where 600 survivors are taking refuge, the Team provided food including rice, instant noodles, canned foods, etc., and some other items such as sanitary items for ladies, underwear, clothes, baby bottles, etc.
People at the school said they did not receive any emergency relief for five days after the Quake, and the supply has not been nearly sufficient.
Unprecedented Tsunami literally swept away the entire town of Minami-Sanriku, where the survivors at Asahigaoka Community Center used to live.

The reality in the wide-spread disaster-hit area is that not all the regions nor the refugee centers are getting the same level of assistance.  One of the important missions of the AAR JAPAN’s operation is to alleviate the inequality of relief distribution as much as possible by spotting the survivors who have scarcely received assistance.
Someone dedicated a bouquet of flowers to the devastated hometown (Ishinomaki City).