Singapore-based Mercy Relief is one of only a few foreign aid agencies to successfully deliver supplies to homeless survivors of the March ii earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan’s north-east coast.

On Wednesday, a team from Mercy Relief delivered hundreds of ready-to-eat meals to a school in Kiri Kiri in Iwate prefecture. More than 200 people, most of them over 50, are talking shelter at the school, which survived the monster wave as it was on high ground.

As the team, which included Mercy Relief chief executive Hassan Ahmad, unloaded the meals, a group of elderly men huddled around a fire, burning wooden planks retrieved from the remains of the flattened village. The temperature was close to 0 deg C, with a frigid wind coming off the bay below.

Yesterday, 20,000 packs of ready-to-eat porridge from Singapore arrived at an army aid distribution base at Ishinomaki after speedy clearance by Japan Customs on Tuesday.

Mercy Relief’s food aid is being delivered in coordination with the World Food Programme.  Another 300,000 packs of porridge and red bean soup from the agency will arrive in the coming weeks, said Mr Hassan.

Fresh food supplies have been somewhat hampered by a ban on produce from Fukushima prefecture because of fears of radioactive contamination, and a shortage of fuel. However, long queues at petrol stations are no longer as common as fuel supplies have improved.

More photos of MR in Miyagi and Iwate:
 

(From Left, Mon, 28 Mar) –Supplies left Changi Airport, accompanied by MR Team 4, on complimentary freight by ANA;(Tues, 29 Mar) –Supplies arrived Haneda Airport, received by WFP and sent to Ishinomaki;

(Wed, 30 Mar) –Supplies reached Ishinomaki supply centre; (Thur, 31 Mar) –MR Team 4, representing its wonderful donors in Singapore, personally verifying the supplies prior to distribution to the evacuees.


Devastation at the coastal town of Ishinomaki, Miyagi, the worst-affected prefecture.


Devastation at the coastal town of Otsuchi, Iwate, the 2nd-worst affected prefecture.
(Right) MR Team 4 distributing 2 tonnes of relief supplies comprising hygiene essentials and water.

Fundraising Efforts in Singapore –Day 19

Donations received : S$1,205,634

Donations from the public will be used to address the most pressing basic needs including food, water, blankets and other essential which will be procured on the ground for now.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org