Japan Earthquake 2011
August 19, 2011 by staff
Half of the funds donated by groups like the Red Cross have yet to be disbursed through a backlog of data processing and discussions about how to distribute the money.
Thousands of people in Miyagi, the prefecture worst affected by the earthquake of March 11 and the tsunami, and Fukushima, home to Tokyo Electric Power Co. ‘s nuclear plant paralyzed, have received less cash, documents published to show Japan’s Ministry of Health.
That is adding to uncertainty for thousands of families recovering from disaster, which left over 20,000 dead or missing and destroyed 263,000 houses. It is also frustrating the recovery of a region that contributes about 8 percent of gross domestic product in Japan and manufactures products from cars to beer.
“We have about 500 to 600 applications from every day and are processed the same amount every day,” said Emiko Okuyama, the Mayor of Sendai, where 700 people died and 65,000 homes were destroyed by the tsunami. The city doubled the number of staff for issuing payments to survivors, said last week.
Eighty-two percent of the grants allocated to Sendai not yet been given to families in the city, which is the capital of Miyagi prefecture, according to documents of the Ministry of Health.
“Sorry, I can not say much of the money will be sent to the people,” said Okuyama reporters on a conference of 09 August. “We are doing everything possible to expedite the process.”
Japan Red Cross, the Central Community Chest of Japan’s public broadcaster NHK and the welfare of his arm, according to the Ministry of Health, raised the money.
Donations were also sent to Japan from 77 overseas branches of the Red Cross a total of ¥ 38,700,000,000 ($ 506,000,000) as of August 9, according to a statement from the Japan Red Cross. A total of ¥ 25 billion has been earmarked for the operation of programs to distribute relief supplies, medical services and appliances such as washing machines in the evacuation centers, and to help move household goods to shelters, said.
In Fukushima, one of the 15 prefectures of the requirements to receive donations, 37 percent of the funds were not transferred as of August 12, according to documents of the Ministry of Health.
In the prefecture of Chiba, near Tokyo, 36 percent of the funds for 34 towns in the municipality and the people still sitting in the bank accounts of local authorities. Urayasu, a suburb of the bay is home to Tokyo Disneyland, 42 percent of the funds have been distributed.
In Fukushima, the payments have been delayed, while officials in some municipalities addressed complaints that a policy to allocate a fixed amount per household since large families at a disadvantage.
“Our city has several large families,” said Minoru Shoji, who works at the local government office Iitate. His village in Fukushima was one of the cities, the government ordered to evacuate due to the threat of fallout on the ground paralyzed Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear.
“It’s not fair that if a family with only one gets the same amount that a family of 10,” he said.
A committee of the Red Cross, academics and local government officials in the affected areas established criteria for allocation of grants to survivors.
An emergency payment was made in April that gave families ¥ 350,000 (and 4570) for each family member died or disappeared. The same amount was also given to families whose homes were destroyed and people forced to evacuate in an exclusion zone of the Dai-Ichi Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The Committee devised a method of June when the funds are allocated according to the severity of damage to cities and towns, then devised his own method of disbursement of the homes. Local governments also supplement the grants to survivors of the funds raised independently.
In Iitate, ¥ 204,000 will be given to every 6567 inhabitants in late August, the city official, said Shoji.
Families whose homes were within 30 kilometers of the nuclear plant was halted and the residents of the area were evacuated will be paid 300,000 yen per person in the city of Fukushima Minamisoma. Those told to prepare for evacuation will receive 220,000 yen and the rest will be paid 200,000 yen, according to the website of the city.
The shortage of the Japan Red Cross delayed the use of funds raised abroad, Ramona Bajema, senior program manager with AmeriCares, a relief group profit and plans to distribute $ 8 million raised through donations, said in an interview in Yokohama, near Tokyo today.
“It’s a lot of paperwork,” Bajema said. “It takes an incredible amount of time” because staff has to go and consult with government officials to plan projects and supervise all the works sponsored by donations, he said.
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