Donation from UBS Stock Corporation

UBS-Tokyo-Chiyoda-ward Branch, made a charitable donation of JPY 1,053,000 to advance reconstruction of the prefecture of Fukushima where the Great East Japan Earthquake caused catastrophic damages.  The donation was a collection of each individual giving from employees and customers of the company.  Since the immediate aftermath of the Earthquake in 2011, UBS has been a consistent supporter of the reconstruction/rebuilding work in the affected areas.

Nepal: Legs Cut Off Due To Earthquake ― To Restore Life

“I tried to touch my legs only to realize that I didn’t have them anymore,” said Mr. Ramesh KHATRI (age 18). When a major earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015,  Ramesh was working at a guesthouse in the capital Kathmandu in order to send living expenses back to his wife in their hometown.

Mr. Ramesh KATRI from western Nepal was working in Kathmandu
 after he quit school because of his family’s poverty. (Lalitpur, December 9th, 2015) 


Nepal: “I am no longer living in fear of an earthquake!” -from Nepal, eight months after the disaster

In Dhading District, located west of Kathmandu, AAR Japan has been building temporary learning centers at schools where the buildings were destroyed or damaged by the earthquake that hit Nepal April 2015. In early December 2015, a temporary learning center, the 26th and final in a series to be constructed in the southern part of the District, was completed, and the handover ceremony was organized.

Wishing for many children to come to school

A temporary schoolhouse, built with bamboo immediately after the earthquake, remained at the site of Himalchuli Primary School in Goganpani Village (photo below).
As the school building was constructed with much importance placed on speed, it was consequently poorly protected against rain and chilly in the winter. Therefore, a new schoolhouse was deemed to be necessary.

The previous temporary schoolhouse of Himalchuli Primary School was made with bamboo
(All photos including this are from Goganpani Village, Dhading District, December 5th, 2015.)


Let’s make Turkish dishes and communicate with Syrian people!

NGO AAR Japan Fundraising Volunteer Team FUNVO
Turn Your Interest toward international cooperation
Let’s make Turkish dishes and communicate with Syrian people!
What is FUNVO? We are the volunteering team of the international NGO, AAR Japan! We provide you with the opportunity to contribute to international cooperation whilst also having fun!
DATEWednesday December 23rd, 2015
Morning Session 10:30am-1:00pm (Doors open at 10am)
Afternoon Session 2:00pm-4:00pm (Doors open at 1:30pm)
Place Meguro Citizens Center, Society Education Building 8, Room 5
Meguro 2-4-36     10minutes by walk from JR/Underground Meguro Station

Morning Session Lets make Turkish Dishes-
Up to 20 people(FCFS)
Lets make Turkish food with AAR staff who are engaged in AARs relief activity for Syrian refugees in Turkey. This time we will cook stew and pilaf, which can be easily made at home after this event as well. Both kids and adults can enjoy the event! J Through cooking, you can be exposed to Turkish culture!
What to bring: Apron, bandana, handkerchief
Afternoon Session - Letget in touch with Syrian culture!-
Up tp 30 peopleFCFS
How well do you know Syrian culture? In the afternoon session, you can communicate directly with Syrian people. There will be an Oud performance and Syrian staff will show you Arabic calligraphy demonstration :D You can also use this rare opportunity to learn about the Syrian situation and AARs activities in Turkey.

Attendance fee
Morning only :3,000yen (2,000yen for students・1,000yen for elementary school students and under 
Afternoon only :1,500yen1,000yen for students For free elementary school students and under 
Full day4,000yen(3000yen for students・1,000yen for elementary school students and under

REGISTRATION & INQUIRYKinoshita, Matsumoto
                                TEL +81-3-5423-4511 or send us your name, adress, and phone number to aarj @ aarjapan.gr.jp


Accelerate International Deliberations to Ban Killer Robots

On November 12th and 13th, 2015, the annual meeting of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) was held at the United Nations Office of Geneva, Switzerland. Natsuki MATSUMOTO of AAR Japan participated in the plenary session as a Steering Committee member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition of civil society launched in April 2013.

“Killer Robots (lethal autonomous robots)” refer to weapons systems that have the ability to autonomously select targets and attack them without human judgments. Whlie such technology is not yet fully developed,  should such autonomous weapons be implemented on the battlefield, it would become possible for these robots to attack targets without human intervention.

Representatives from governments of approximately 100 countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations participated in a Meeting of the States parties of the CCW. (November 13th, 2015)


Nepal: Providing a safe environment where children can study at ease

Dhading District, located west of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, was devastated 5 months ago when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook the country with unimaginable power.  Dhading District was hard-hit by the disaster with many buildings destroyed or damaged, including school buildings, and is now lacking in classrooms.  A number of schools have continued to operate after removing the damaged walls, but the environment is still much too dangerous for children to be studying in.  Therefore, for the next 10 years, AAR Japan will build temporary learning centers with steel beams, brick walls, and tin roofing as an initiative in working toward the goal of supplying usable classrooms for Dhading District.

A classroom where the damaged walls have been removed and the thin pillars are exposed.  Classes were being conducted in this dangerous environment.  (All photos are from Dhading District, Nepal, August 25th, 2015)


Pakistan: Relief Efforts in the Flood-Stricken Area Provision of Tents to 17 Schools as Temporary Classrooms for Children to Learn in a Safe Environment

Provision of tents so that children can safely lead their school lives in the new school term

Since July this year, Pakistan has suffered massive and extensive flooding, which has inflicted a great deal of damage affecting 1.6 million victims nationwide. In response to a request by the District Education Office of Layyah District in Punjab Province, one of the most seriously damaged areas, AAR Japan provided 17 schools with 40 large temporary tents that can serve as safe learning venues for children.

The floods affected 460,000 victims in Punjab Province, damaged or destroyed as many as 17,000 houses and damaged or submerged quite a lot of schools. In mid-August, when the new school term started, some schools had to continue their lessons in school buildings that had cracks in the walls and pillars, while others conducted classes outdoors where students sat on mats spread under the scorching sun with temperatures as high as 40℃. Responding to such pitiable situations, AAR Japan, in consultation with the District Education Office, identified 17 schools that had not received enough aid and provided them with large temporary tents, each of which can accommodate approximately 40 children. 

Children in front of the completed temporary tent
.They have been eagerly awaiting its completion.
(Layyah District, Punjab Province, September 11, 2015)

New learning centers give children a safe place to study after Nepal quake

This story was first published on Rescue.org by the International Rescue Committee on Sep. 30, 2015

Children whose clasrooms were damaged by the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal in April
 are now heading to class in new learning centers built by IRC partner AAR Japan,
which also provided school uniforms and school supplies. Photo: AAR Japan


Floods in Kanto and Tohoku Regions: September 15th Activity Report

As of today, AAR Japan distributed long-life bread for 300 evacuees at the Regional Exchange Center (Toyoda Castle), which is currently used as an evacuation center.

While only few evacuees stay in the evacuation center during daytime, many of them come to receive food at night. Even those who decided to stay home cannot cook at home, as their houses had been inundated and covered by mud. Moreover, AAR Japan distributed additional anti-dust masks, as they are indispensable for those evacuees who are working hard during daytime to remove heavy mud from their houses.

AAR Japan is determined to continue its aid activities in cooperation with the affected communities.
Your donation will make a change.

The evacuation center’s manager with AAR Japan president, Yukie Osa,
who is originally from the city of Joso. (September 15th, 2015)


September 14 Aid Activity Report—distribution of aid materials such as anti-dust masks

AAR Japan continues its support for those who were severely affected by bank-bursting floods from Kinugawa River in the City of Joso, Ibaraki, in cooperation with a local non-profit organization, Ibaraki NPO Center Commons.

As of today, September 14th, AAR Japan distributed portable toilets usable for 2000 times. Other distributed materials include 1,400 anti-dust masks, 240 pairs of gloves, towels and wet wipes. While some large evacuation centers have sufficient aid materials, such materials in other smaller evacuation centers and volunteer hubs remain severely deficient. AAR Japan is determined to continue its aid activities in cooperation with local people.

We are most grateful for your kind support.

Aid materials such as anti-dust masks and gloves distributed
 through an local NPO (September 14th, 2015)


Floods in Kanto and Tohoku regions: distribution of most demanded portable toilets

Water supply remains to be cut in the City of Joso, Ibaraki. Such a situation has raised high demand for portable toilets both in evacuation centers and at home. In cooperation with local Council of Social Welfare and NPOs, AAR Japan distributed portable toilets usable for 1000 times to the Regional Exchange Center (Toyoda Castle) in Ishige, Joso City, which is currently used as an evacuation center.

Aid and support needed in affected areas are changing from one moment to another.  AAR Japan is determined to continue providing aid in a timely manner.


Floods in Kanto and Tohoku regions: AAR Japan distributed underclothes for 300 evacuees.

AAR Japan is conducting its emergency response in the City of Joso, Ibaraki, severely affected by heavy rains and floods that destroyed the banks of Kinugawa River. As a result of our assessment in three evacuation centers in the city, we came to learn about a severe shortage of underclothes, while food and normal clothes are adequate. Thus, as of today, AAR Japan distributed underclothes for 300 evacuees in two of the largest evacuation centers in the district of Ishige Gymnasium and West Ishige Junior High School.

AAR Japan is also preparing the distribution of portable toilets usable for 3000 times in the same city, responding to the dire demand for portable toilets due to continuing water-cut.
At an evacuation center(September 12th.2015)


Myanmar : Continuous Serious Damage at Flood Disaster Area

AAR Japan is providing assistance for the victims of the flood occurring from July in Myanmar . The local partner organization, MILI is a self-help organization of persons with disabilities (PWDs), and has offices across the country giving them an expansive network. They listened to the voices of PWDs who are placed in difficult situations in times of disaster, to understand their particular needs. Then, they began to distribute emergency supplies to areas in high demand. There are areas where the flood water has receded, however the damages are enormous assistance from the domestic/international community is still required in extensive areas.

We appreciate your continuing support to deliver assistance to the affected areas.

A MILI member is heading for an investigation of the disaster situation.
 Regardless of the flood water recession, the muddy unpaved road makes
the advance difficult. They are laying woven bamboos on the road as
a temporary measure. (Bago County, August 13th.2015)

In the province, the walls and roofs of many houses are made of bamboo.
 According to the government announcement, as many as 15,000 buildings
 were damaged. Among them, 10,000 buildings’ damage occurred
in Rakhine State. (Rakhine State, August 13th, 2015)

The water level during the flood reached 2 meters above the ground, and
it was so high that even a high-floor-style house to be prepared for the rainy season was flooded.
 The resident in the photo is pointing at the height of the water at the time of the flood.
(Rakhine State, August 13th, 2015)

A MILI personnel is heading to a shelter for a survey. In MILI, there are
many personnel who are PWDs, which enables them to grasp the needs of other PWDs.
(Yangon, August 15th, 2015)

Residents who are still continuing their displaced life are getting more and more
tired every day. Ever since the flood started, a total of 300,000 households
were forced to live a (displaced) life. (Yangon, August 15th, 2015)

Personnel of the Cooperation Organization MILI are assorting the procured relief supplies.
They efficiently pack supplies such as food, hygiene products, blankets, water proof sheets
for  every household. (Yangon, August 12th, 2015)

Yoshio NAKAGAWA, Yangon Office
After graduating from university, he started working at the Japanese Red Cross Society.
 Later, he hoped to work at a place for international cooperation and entered AAR Japan.
 He resided in Tajikistan from March 2011 to September 2013. He has acted as
 a representative of Hpa-An office in Myanmar(Burma) since October 2013, and
a representative of Yangon residence office, since January 2015. He is from Kanagawa Prefecture

Japanese-English translation by Ms. Erika Ikeya


Myanmar : Emergency Assistance for the Flood Victims Begins

In Myanmar, continuous heavy rain from July caused at least 103 deaths, and a total of 27 million families were forced to take refuge. The heavy rain has affected a massive number of 128 million people (Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement of Myanmar). AAR Japan, holding offices in Yangon and Karen State, has begun providing emergency assistance to those affected, in cooperation with a local Disabled Person’s Organization (DPO), Myanmar Independent Living Initiative (MILI).

AAR Japan and MILI have decided to distribute food, daily essentials, and assistive devices such as crutches to 1,200 families, especially severely damaged households and persons with disabilities (PWDs) and their families, in ten areas such as Yangon, Magway, and Bago Regions, as well as Rakhine State. MILI has offices in all these ten areas, and has a handle on the situation of the local PWDs. Currently they are beginning distribution in some areas, while proceeding with needs assessment and commodity procurement. They plan to launch the full-scale distribution of goods early next week.

Myint Shwe is a local man who supported his five family members by selling fish. He lost all his household possessions and work tools in the flood. The flood rose to just under the roof of his stilt house, which has made it impossible to live in. (Ayeyarwady Region, August 11th, 2015, photo provided by MILI)


Cambodia: Looking at Inclusive Education through the Lens of an Expert

Education is the fundamental right to which every child is entitled. In Cambodia, however, a number of children are not able to attend school simply because they have disabilities. In hopes of integrating Children with Disabilities (referred to as CWDs hereafter) into regular schools, AAR Japan has been promoting Inclusive Education (IE) in Khsach Kandal District in Kandal Province surrounding the capital, Phnom Penh where we have targeted four elementary schools since February this year. For IE to become an entrenched part of the community, the existing status quo across the educational institution must be changed entirely. This includes awareness-raising, promoting understanding and cooperation on the community level. Teachers must be trained on basic knowledge about disability as well as particular teaching methods effective for CWDs. School buildings must also be designed in a way that facilitates the physical mobility of CWDs. The Cambodian government commenced its work on the promotion of IE in 2008. Nevertheless, the government has only channeled its limited resources to finance the IE programs in restricted areas due to the insufficient funding.

AAR Japan invited Associate Professor, Jun KAWAGUCHI from the Graduate School of Osaka University, to hold training-workshops to enhance the understanding of disability in the respective communities. How should IE be within the present context of Cambodia? How should any progressive steps be made for the better future for CWDs? We asked the professor to share his insights.

Jun KAWAGUCHI (Right) gives a lecture on IE.
(Khsach Kandal District, Cambodia,  May 7th, 2015)


South Sudan: World Refugee Day on June 20- Supporting the people of South Sudan

AAR Japan currently supports Syrian refugees in Turkey, Afghan refugees in Pakistan and South Sudanese refugees in Kenya. AAR Japan’s Ryo KAKUTANI, who was stationed in South Sudan for four years until 2013, reports on its assistance to South Sudanese refugees.

Thrust into a civil war just two years after independence

“I deeply regret that I have to be here today,” were my first words when I spoke in July 2014 at the opening ceremony of a school that was built by AAR Japan inside Kakuma Refugee Camp.

Since 2006, AAR Japan has carried out projects – setting up wells and water supply facilities and offering hygiene and sanitation education – in Kapoeta in the Eastern Equatoria State of South Sudan (southern Sudan at the time), near the border with Kenya. South Sudan successfully gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but a civil war broke out again in December 2013, displacing some two million people, or about one fifth of the population. Approximately 500,000 citizens fled to neighboring Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and Kenya as refugees. The school AAR Japan set up inside Kakuma Refugee Camp was designed for children who had escaped from the conflict in South Sudan.
Family who managed to reach the refugee camp being overwhelmed by intense heat and fatigue (Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, February 4th, 2014)


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors -No Time Should be Lost in Restoring Schools where Children can Safely Learn

Schools reopened, but…

Following the major earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th, AAR Japan’s emergency response team has been involved in relief efforts in Tasarpu Village, in the mountainous Dhading District.  We have distributed food, tent materials and daily necessities to 1,299 families in the village from May 9th to 21st. We are now focusing our efforts on the assessment for the construction of temporary learning centers in the neighboring villages of Tahkre and Jeewanpur as well as in Tasarpu.

For about a month after the earthquake, all the schools in the disaster-stricken areas were closed. Some schools reopened on May 31st. During the school closure, engineers from the Educational Bureau of Dhading District assessed the safety of the school buildings in the district, marking buildings at risk of collapsing in red and ones deemed safe in green. In Tasarpu Village, where we delivered relief goods, there are 11 schools. Forty-five classrooms in seven out of 11 schools were marked red. Fifty-three classrooms in seven of ten schools in Tahkre Village and 52 classrooms in ten of 11 schools in Jeewanpur Village were also assessed to be dangerous. The local government has not announced any specific policies on how to deal with the classrooms labeled dangerous. Because of this lack of policy information, some schools continue using the classrooms marked red while others refrain from using them.

A highly dangerous school building with shear cracking visible on the entire surface of walls (A school in the 2nd Ward of Tasarpu Village, Dhading District, June 1st, 2015).


Japan: Giving Talks in Public Talk Series in Kumamoto, Fukuoka, and Matsue

What can the Japanese do in response to the crisis in Syria?

From May 20th until May 23rd, AAR Japan held a public talk series held in book stores in Kumamoto, Fukuoka, and Matsue. The title of this series was, "The Japanese, Syrian Refugees, and Islam - Photojournalist x Humanitarian Aid." AAR Japan's Yoshifumi KAGEHIRA gave a talk at the event. This event was held to commemorate the publication of photojournalist Yoshifumi KAWABATA's book; it was made possible by the cooperation of KAWABATA, Shinhyoron Co., Ltd. (the publisher of his book), and all the book stores that served as the venues.

Nagasaki Book Store is Kumamoto's vintage book store. The participants listened attentively to Syria's complicated circumstances, as well as the harsh conditions that the refugees face. (May 20th, 2015)


Vanuatu: Medical Treatment to Villages on Remote Islands Three Months After Cyclone Pam

Vanuatu, a South Pacific island country, was struck by a great cyclone on the 13th and 14th of March. The impact was catastrophic; as many as 166,000 people or more – over half the total population – were affected. AAR Japan reached the disaster-stricken area four days after the disaster and distributed relief goods such as clothing and household items to a total of 306 households (approximately 1,530 people) in villages on the eastern part of Efate Island, where the capital city, Port Vila, is located. We are currently providing medical assistance through a local partner, VFHA (Vanuatu Family Health Association). Ryo KAKUTANI from AAR Tokyo Office, who was dispatched to Vanuatu in May, reports.

In March and April, AAR Japan distributed emergency goods such as clothing and kitchen utensils on Efate Island. Ryo KAKUTANI from AAR Japan is pictured on the right. (April 2nd, 2015)


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors - One Month After - Refugee Life in a Mountain Village

A space to spend nights together as a family

The AAR Japan emergency response team’s activities continue in the village of Tasarpu, in the mountainous Dhading District.  From May 9th to 21st, the team has been distributing food rations and household utensils to the 1,299 family units in the village.  The food rations include rice, dahl beans, salt, cooking oil, masala, and turmeric.  The household utensils include tent materials (a 3.6x5.5m tarpaulin, 30m of rope to build the tent with, floor mats, mosquito net, blankets, feminine sanitary napkins, and buckets.

After distribution of the relief items was complete, the team revisited each ward of Tasarpu Village and saw that inhabitants of the area are making full use of the tent materials, and families now have a place where they can spend the nights together.  Directly following the disaster, Suun Maya Tamang, a resident of Tasarpu village’s 4th ward, was able to procure no more than a small vinyl sheet she found, so she and her family had to sleep in various different refugee tents.  With only 5kg of government supplied rice and no other aid in sight, Suun says she was at her wit’s end. With the materials she received from AAR Japan, her family of 10 can now live out of one tent.  “Up in the mountains the days are hot and the nights grow very cold, so I am very thankful for the support we received from AAR Japan.  The blankets are especially important for us”, she said.
Suun and her daughter, standing before the tent they built with the relief items from AAR Japan. (Tasarpu Village, Dhading District, May 27th, 2015)


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors- "Finally, I Can Sleep Under the Same Roof as My Family."

Long-awaited tent materials 

AAR Japan's emergency assistance team has been providing assistance to the Tasarpu village in the mountainous Dhading District. On May 16th, we distributed food and household supplies in the 3rd and 4th wards of the village. In these earthquake-stricken areas, survivors whose houses had collapsed were waiting to receive floor mats, mosquito nets, and tents to keep them out of the rain. Given the shortage of tent supplies within Nepal, our emergency assistance team procured tents from the neighboring country, India.

Ms.Kabitn Tamang, who received relief supplies from AAR Japan said, "We can finally make our own tent for my family”. (Tasarpu Village, Dhading District, May 18th, 2015) 


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors - at a Mountaintop Village with Terrible Earthquake Damage

Transporting relief goods to a distribution site by following mountain passes and along a river

The emergency response team of Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has been continuing emergency relief activities in Tasarpu Village of the mountainous Dhading District. On May 14th, the team distributed relief supplies to a total of 308 households in the 2nd and 8th wards at the back of the village.

First AAR Japan transported relief goods by four, four-ton trucks from the capital Kathmandu to the foot of the mountain, which takes about three hours. The team then transferred the relief supplies from the trucks to five tractors at the riverbank, and moved along the river. Following the strong aftershock that occurred two days ago, the team talked with local drivers, and decided that this route was safer than through the mountain passes. After moving along the river for about an hour, the team arrived at a low-lying area, which was the AAR Japan’s distribution site.

Women of the 8th ward of Tasarpu Village waiting in line to receive long-awaited relief supplies.


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors - AAR Japan Continues the Delivery of Goods to the Mountain Region of Tasarpu Village

The emergency response team of AAR Japan has been operating on site since April 29th to assist victims of the earthquake, which hit Nepal on April 25th. The team distributed emergency relief goods in the mountainous area of Tasarpu Village, Dhading District; specifically in the 1st, 5th and 7th wards of the village on May 9th, and in the 3rd, 6th and 9th wards on May 11th.

Emergency relief goods distributed on May 11th were as follows:
Site of distribution: The 3rd, 6th and 9th wards, Tasarpu Village, Dhading District
Target households: 473 households
Distributed items:
[Food]: Rice for two weeks, dahl beans, salt, cooking oil, and spices (masala and turmeric)
[Household utensils]: Buckets, two mosquito nets, one floor mat

Villagers gather together at the distribution site. (Tasarpu Village, Dhading District, May 11th, 2015)


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors - We Distributed Relief Supplies to Tasarpu, a Mountain Village

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan)’s emergency response team has been working on the ground since April 29th to support the victims of the large earthquake which occurred in Nepal on April 25th.  On May 9th, we distributed relief supplies in Tasarpu village of the mountainous Dhading District.  Natsuki MATSUMOTO reports.

Distributed supplies in a steep mountain region where rice is much needed

At the end of a steep mountain path, is the village of Tasarpu.  Even though this village had been greatly affected by the quakes with 90% of the houses badly damaged, they had received rice from the government only once, and no other aid group had yet reached the area.  AAR Japan spoke with the district government, and decided to distribute relief supplies to all of the households.  On May 9th, in the first wave of distribution, food and basic necessities were distributed to 389 households in three of the village wards.  We will distribute supplies in the remaining six wards.

May 9th Distribution Details

Location: 1st, 5th, and 7th wards of Tasarpu Village, Dhading District
Number of Households: 389 households
Distributed Items:
[Food] two weeks supply of rice, dal beans, salt, cooking oil, condiments (masala, turmeric)
[Household Items] a bucket, two mosquito nets, a floor mat

Ms. Bindo Lama (age 23), who received the supplies from AAR Japan’s Chiaki FURUKAWA (left), told us with a smile that “More than anything, we are grateful for the rice.”


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors- Seeking Food in the Ruins and the Difficult Conditions in the Affected Mountain Region

AAR Japan’s emergency assistance team (Noriyasu OKAYAMA and Fukurou KAKIZAWA) have actively worked on site in Nepal since April 29th to assist the victims of the powerful earthquake that struck the country on April 25th of this year. On May 3rd, Chiaki FURUKAWA and Natsuki MATSUMOTO joined the AAR Japan team, bringing the organization’s operation to four staff members.

On May 5th, we visited Tasarpu Village in the Dhading District in the western mountainous area of Kathmandu for assessment. Here are updates of the situation on the ground.

Most of the villages in the mountain are destroyed and are reduced to rubble 

The emergency assistance team assessed Tasarpu Village in the Dhading District on May 5th. It is located four hours away from Kathmandu, of which three hours are on steep mountain roads. Although there was serious damage to the village, including 1000 of 1200 houses partially or totally damaged, this was the first time any aid organization had reached the area. Moreover, unpaved steep footpaths were the only access to the highest area of the village. Most of the houses were completely destroyed, and the villagers were living in emergency shelters covered by tattered tarpaulin.

Villagers left under hastily-made emergency shelters covered by tattered tarpaulins (Tasarpu Village, Dhading District, May 5th, 2015).


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to the Major Earthquake - Assessment in the Mountainous Area Struck by the Earthquake

AAR Japan’s emergency assistance team (Noriyasu OKAYAMA and Fukuro KAKIZAWA) have been actively working on-site since April 29th to assist the victims of the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25th. On May 3rd, Chiaki FURUKAWA and Natsuki MATSUMOTO joined the team. Currently, the operation is led by these four staff members.

Having assessed the situation, the team decided to focus its aid activities in Dhading District, a mountainous area located in the west of Kathmandu. Three members visited the district on May 4th. Here is the latest report from the site.

To the quake struck mountainous region

Approximately 10 days have passed since the massive earthquake. While the urban areas of Kathmandu slowly return to normal, there has been a delay in relief efforts reaching the gravely damaged mountainous regions due to their geographical inaccessibility. AAR Japan has been working to reach out to such areas since the earthquake took place. Gorkha District, in which AAR initially considered focusing its activity, is already receiving aid from various organizations. In order to distribute aid resources more effectively, the AAR Japan team decided instead to target its operations in Dhading District, which is located five hours by car to the west of Kathmandu. More than half of the 70,000 families there are said to be affected, yet relief efforts in the area have so far fallen short.

Dhading District, marked on the map. The district is located approximately five hours from Kathmandu by car. 
On May 4th, three members of AAR Japan’s emergency response team departed Kathmandu for Dhading, while KAKIZAWA, who is in charge of procuring supplies, stayed behind. The road to Dhading is marked by a narrow mountain path. In Dhading, we spoke with Koirela and her family, who now shelter themselves in front of their collapsed home. Their extended family used to live nearby, divided into several households. As most of their houses were destroyed by the quake, they now live in tents provided by aid organizations.   Bunu Koirela (age 11) told us, “The earthquake was really scary, but we all ran out in a hurry, and so no one got hurt.” Deepshika (age 5 months), the youngest member of the family, was on the second floor of the building with the mother when the quake struck. As the house begun to crumble, the mother threw the baby out of the window in order to save her, and the older brother outside caught her safely.

In the district capital, Dhading Besi, the extent of damage to the houses appeared greater than in Kathmandu.  AAR Japan visited the officer in charge at the local government office and discussed the extent of the damage and potential aid activities. Based on this discussion and coordination with the local government, AAR Japan will distribute necessities, such as tarpaulins, and food for those affected within Dhading District. We would like to ask for your continuous support for our relief efforts as we begin to step up our operations in the region. 

Ms. Koirela’s home was destroyed by the quake. She saved the five-month old baby by throwing her out of the window of the second floor. Chiaki FURUKAWA of AAR Japan is pictured on the left. (Dhading District, May 4th, 2015)
In Dhading Besi, the capital of Dhading District, a greater number of buildings had collapsed due to the earthquake than in Kathmandu. Noriyasu OKAYAMA of AAR Japan (left) talking with a local resident. (Dhading Besi, May 4th, 2015) 
AAR Japan’s Noriyasu OKAYAMA (left) and Chiaki FURUKAWA (right) survey the current stocks and prices of various goods in a shop. (Dhading District, May 4th, 2015).
A hotel room in Dhading Besi being used as a shelter. (Dhading Besi, 4th May 2015)

*These activities are made possible thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, such as yourself, and a grant from Japan Platform (JPF).

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Chiaki FURUKAWA, AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarter
After graduating from university, FURUKAWA worked for a human resource consultancy, among other companies, before going on to obtain a master’s degree in international development in the UK. After graduation she joined AAR Japan and was assigned to the Haiti Office in October 2010. She has been in charge of Afghanistan, Myanmar and Philippines operations since January 2012. (Born in Osaka) (Profile as of the date of the article)

Japanese-English translation by Ms. Hanano Sasaki
English editing by Ms. Fiona Chan

The article on this page has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Japan's Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.


Nepal: Emergency Assistance to Earthquake Survivors – Preparing to distribute relief supplies to mountainous regions yet to receive aid

The first emergency response team (Noriyasu OKAYAMA and Fukuro KAKIZAWA) of AAR Japan has been operating in Nepal since April 29th, providing relief assistance to earthquake victims.

Our field assessment revealed that mountainous regions such as the Gorkha District and the Sindhupalchowk District were devastated by the earthquake. Relief assistance for these areas had been delayed due to difficult access. AAR Japan decided to distribute emergency relief supplies to these areas, and has been procuring goods and arranging logistics to do so.
The following report is the latest update from Nepal.
A parent and a child take refuge in a tent in an open space. Only part of the roof is covered with a tarpaulin and they are sitting directly on the ground (Kathmandu, May 1st, 2015)


8 Million People Affected: AAR Japans Responds to the Earthquake in Nepal

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan), with its headquarters in Tokyo, sends its emergency response team to Nepal on April 28th from Narita.

The team, led by Noriyasu OKAYAMA, who speaks Nepali and has vast experience working in Nepal, is scheduled to arrive at Kathmandu airport on the following day.

The powerful earthquake has killed more than 3,300 people and affected 8 million people (*source: UNOCHA 2015/4/27), leaving the stricken area in shortage of everything from water, food, blanket, medication, sanitation, shelter.

The AAR team will immediately start needs assessment on arrival and will start relief operation.

Your support is highly appreciated to support the people in Nepal.

AAR Japan Emergency Response Team 

Noriyasu OKAYAMA

After working in Nepal, OKAYAMA has been running AAR Japan Vientiane program since June 2004. He engaged in emergency assistance during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philipines (2013), and flood response in Cambodia and in Myanmar.


KAKIZAWA has been in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan operations at AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters since May 2013. he was also engaged in emergency response fro Vanuatu Cyclone Pam (2015) and Haiyan in the Philippines (2013).

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