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Oxfam Japan's response to the Earthquake and Tsunami

Right after the disaster, Oxfam Japan has been responding to ensure that the needs of marginalized people affected by earthquake and Tsunami are met by addressing gaps in provision of assistance, information and services, in partnership with Japanese national NGOs.

The area of Activities

Sankaku Planning Iwate, Oxfam Japan’s partner organised a PC skills training course in Miyako-city, Iwate Prefecture as a part of the small business development training course for women. Participants, who touched the PCs for the first time, received comprehensive training. Photo: Sankaku Planning Iwate Since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake which struck the Tohoku-region on 11 March 2011, Oxfam Japan has been providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in partnership with Japanese non-profit organisations. Oxfam Japan has since supported more than 22,000 affected individuals, and helped partners urge the government to incorporate gender perspectives in its reconstruction policies .

Focusing on women's needs

Immediately following the disaster, Oxfam Japan conducted a rapid assessment of the situation in order to identify the areas at which Oxfam Japan should target. While some aid agencies were trying to meet the needs of children, the elderly and those with disabilities, specific needs of women were not addressed, nor was gender placed in the mainstream in the interventions of the government and aid agencies. The needs of immigrants, especially those from neighbouring Asian countries and Latin America were not properly addressed Either.
The major needs identified were as follows:
・ maternal healthcare within emergency medical care services
・ gender based violence
・ livelihood options for women, especially those for single mothers
・ specific attention for those most vulnerable to radiation, including mothers and children
・ gender sensitive perspectives within policies implemented by the central / local governments during the relief and reconstruction period

Challenges continue

Two years on since the earthquake, women in the disaster affected areas still continue to face difficulties in finding and keeping economic opportunities amid the reconstruction efforts. The number of women who received public unemployment allowance in 2011 was 1.4 times higher than that of men. Oxfam Japan currently continues to address the needs of women who were excluded from the government reconstruction efforts.

Oxfam Japan's response in 2012 - 2013

See the emergency programme of 2011

Oxfam Japan’s overall goal is to incorporate the gender equality aspect into the reconstruction and disaster risk management policies, processes, and programmes.

1.Skills development and personal support for affected single mothers in Iwate Prefecture

Partner: Inclu Iwate(http://incluiwate.blog.fc2.com/(Japanese web site only)
-Providing computer skills training to increase employment opportunities of single mothers in Morioka-City, Iwate Prefecture. -Organizing psycho-social workshops. - Providing regular individual counselling. jobtraining.jpg
The participants created photo cards. They learned digital camera techniques which enable them to edit images files on the computer, and simple designing skills. Photo: Inclu-Iwate

2. Psychosocial support to mothers who have evacuated from Fukushima to Tokyo
Partner: Single Mothers’ Forum (http://www.single-mama.com/) (Japanese website only)
- Providing regular individual counselling to mothers who have evacuated from Fukushima to Tokyo with their small children, especially single mothers.

3. Small business development
Partner: Sankaku Planning Iwate (http://www.sankaku-npo.jp/) (Japanese website only)
- Providing training on business planning, computer and finance skills, as well as individual support for the women living in the Tsunami affected coastal areas and in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture.

Every participant of the small business development training course has their own business ideas, such as lunch box delivery service, care and support services for the elderly. Instructors who have rich experience in supporting women’s small business training help business planning of the participants. Photo: Sankaku Planning Iwate

Participants gain PC skills which are essential for their business. Photo:Sankaku Planning Iwate

4. Specialist Training
Partner: Japan Women’s Shelter Network (http://nwsnet.or.jp/) (Japanese website only)
- Organising workshops to train personal support providers to assist single mothers.

More domestic violence cases have been filed in the affected prefecture since 311. The training for care specialists of gender based violence invites lecturers who actually help the violence survivors in the affected areas. Photo: Oxfam Japan

5. Advocacy
Partners: Women's Network for East Japan Disaster(Rise Together)(http://risetogetherjp.org/?cat=46)
Gender Action Platform (GAP) (http://www.genderactionplatform.org/p/english.html)
-Developing for public use resource materials and policy tools, such as training manuals, information kits, documentation of good practices and policy briefs.
-Organising public events to exchange knowledge and experience on gender issues among stakeholders aimed at raising the gender awareness of policy-makers, practitioners, media, and the general public.

Oxfam Japan supports affected people, particularly women and small children, single mothers, immigrants, women facing domestic violence and sexual abuse with following activities.

Please click here for more details about our activities.

Oxfam Japan’s emergency response in 2011

1. Emergency Assistance

Oxfam and partners provide assistance specific to the needs of women, children and immigrants. The assistance includes hygiene items, radio and cash grants.

Distributed radio ©Oxfam Japan

Delivery of relief supplies (31st March, Tagajo city, Piyagi prefecture) ©Miki Tokairin / JOICFP

2. Providing information and counseling, support organizing self-help groups

Oxfam and partners provide telephone, face to face counseling services, individual support for vulnerable women and immigrants to provide information and psychological support. We also help immigrants to organize self-help groups.

FM station (Natori city, Miyagi prefecture) ©FACIL

3. Advocacy

Oxfam and partners address the needs and rights of affected people, especially women to the major stakeholders of assistance and reconstruction, namely, Japanese government, local government and other aid agencies.

Partner Organizations

FACIL (Multilanguage Centre; http://www.tcc117.org/facil/index.html) was established immediately after the 1995 earthquake in Kobe to provide information to non-Japanese speaking people living in Japan. They are expanding their activities to support non-Japanese people affected by the disaster of March 11, 2011 by providing them with information, counseling, access to services and support in self organizing.

JOICFP (Japan Organization for International Cooperation on Family Planning; http://www.joicfp.or.jp/eng) works on population, reproductive health (RH), family planning (FP), and maternal and child health (MCH). Together with the Japanese Midwives' Association and local obstetrics and gynecologists, they will support pregnant women, new mothers, and babies.

Japan Women's Shelter Network (Japanese website http://nwsnet.or.jp/shelter/index.html) runs a network of shelters for women victims of sexual or domestic violence and a 24-hour hotline. Their shelters in the affected region and elsewhere in Japan have been providing those vulnerable women with accommodation, assistance in accessing services, and counseling.

Single Mother's Forum (Japanese website http://www.single-mama.com/) was established in 1980 to provide support, counseling, and advice to vulnerable single mothers and their children. They have a hotline lawyer. In this crisis they will focus on counseling, assistance in accessing services, relocation, childcare and emergency livelihoods support.

Rise Together (http://www.risetogetherjp.org/)– is network of organizations working on women's issues who got together to work on raising awareness, conducting research, disseminating information, providing training and support and advocating for the rights of women in emergencies.

How to donate

◆Donation by CreditCard

 You can make donation on our website.

 * Please choose Japan Earthquake at the column "programs".

◆Payment by transfer to Japan Post Bank account

  Account Number: 00140-6-53804
  Account Holder: OxfamJapan

 * Please ensure you indicate :
   1) donation for Japan Earthquake
   2) whether you need a receipt or not


Our activities

Oxfam Japan will be working with partners in Japan on providing support to those on the margins of society who might otherwise have difficulty accessing emergency relief.

◆Assisting mothers and babies

a) Providing diapers and other products
b) Support formothers and babies at home
c) Counseling to women under high stress

For more details,
Tohoku Earthquake Relief Mission Report (April 2) by Giles Murray(6th April)
Tohoku Earthquake Relief Mission Report (April 1) by Giles Murray(6th April)
Tohoku Earthquake Relief Mission Report (March 30, 31) by Giles Murray(5th April)
Report from Tagajo City, Miyagi Prefecture (March 31)(5th April)
Deliveries of Support Materials to Pregnant Women and Babies(31st March)
The first shipment from Oxfam has arrived in Iwate(31st March)
Shipment sanitary products & diapers(23rd March)
Support for mothers, babies and women(19th March)

◆Regional information support

a) Distribution of radios
b) Providing disaster information (on the website and on site)
c) Support for "The multilingual support center for the Tohoku Earthquake out at ocean"

For more details,
Disribution of radios(23rd March)

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