Having personally procured and distributed basic survival essentials including water, food, blankets and undergarments for the first three weeks of the disaster, Mercy Relief (MR) shifted its relief focus to addressing the wellness of the affected communities in Iwate and Miyagi.  With the conditions at the evacuation centres more stabilised, MR Team 5 has been distributing fresh food supplies such as vegetables and fruits, cooking utensils and hygiene essentials to help inject nutrition and normalcy into the diets and lives of more than 13,000 survivors respectively.

Earlier, the first batch of  20,000 packs of ready-to-eat porridge (with sweet potato) sent by MR from Singapore arrived Ishinomaki district in Miyagi, the worst-hit prefecture, on 31 March. The second batch of 80,000 ready-to-eat red bean soup arrived Yokohama last Saturday en route to Ishinomaki, and expected to arrive there on Thursday.

With the start of the new school term, MR is working with the Education Department of Iwate prefecture (in consultation with the local nutritionists) to provide daily supplies of milk and yogurt to more than 1,200 students at 5 elementary and 2 junior high schools for the next two weeks.

MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad shared, “As always, the advantage of being personally on the ground is that it allowsMR to be privy to the ever-changing and varied needs on the ground, and addressing those urgent needs appropriately, accurately and in a timely manner, which helps to avoid wastage of resources.  Spring has arrived and with thawing temperatures, there will be further changes in needs”.

MR is currently serving the affected areas which are a safe distance outside the radiation-hazard zone (officially 30km radius of the nuclear reactors’ location).  The MR teams are equipped with radiation sensors to help detect and monitor the radiation levels at the locations of their operations.  To further facilitate and ensure the team’s safety and quick evacuation, a dedicated unit at the MR Headquarters in Singapore continues to monitor the radiation alerts and advice from the Japanese Government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Fundraising Efforts in Singapore –Day 34

Donations received : S$1,659,984

The Panasonic Group Companies in Singapore and Batam organised an internal voluntary donation drive amongst its 11,000 employees, to raise SGD$203,000.  Commenting on this initiative Mr Mikio Matsui, Director, Human Capital Management Group, Panasonic Asia Pacific, said, “Panasonic and its employees express deep sympathy for the victims and sincerely hope for swift recovery of the areas affected by the disaster. By partnering with Mercy Relief, we want to reach out to the affected communities to address their most pressing needs and contribute to alleviate their suffering”.

The Cantonese Opera Artistes put together a show and raised $100,000 from ticket and CD sales, audience’s contributions, auction of paintings and calligraphy works, and songs dedication.

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