March 9, 2011
San Francisco, Calif. – The recovery of the Tohoku region of Japan from last year’s earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear disaster will hinge on revitalizing the local economy, according to two new reports from Give2Asia, a San Francisco-based nonprofit specializing in facilitating philanthropy to Asia.
For the past year, Give2Asia has partnered with local responders in Tohoku in both immediate relief and longer-term recovery efforts.
The two reports, released today, are intended for U.S. donors and giving professionals seeking expertise on the local disaster response to date and opportunities for future philanthropic investment. One report details Give2Asia’s projects and partnerships undertaken in response to the Tohoku disaster. Another paper, written by Give2Asia’s disaster response lead Gillian Yeoh, expands on Give2Asia’s lessons-learned from working within Tohoku, and identifies the unique challenges and opportunities of disaster response in Japan.
Both reports are available online.
- Read One Year Later: A Report to Donors and Stakeholders by visiting www.give2asia.org/japan-report2012.
- Read Lessons Learned: The 2011 Disasters in Tohoku, Japan by visiting www.give2asia.org/tohoku-lessonslearned.
“Prior to the disaster, Tohoku was already a marginalized area facing the challenge of a rapidly aging population,” said Yeoh. “Rebuilding Tohoku to its pre-3.11 state would be to put it back on an unsustainable path both demographically and economically. Philanthropy should play a role in addressing the underlying challenges that already existed before the disasters.”
Over the past year, Give2Asia and its U.S. partners have committed over US$5.64 million for ongoing disaster response activities. These partners include Japanese-American organizations such as Japan Society of Northern California and Keizai Society, as well as corporations like Corning Foundation, Inc. and Qualcomm Incorporated. Approximately half of the funds raised have already been used to support local organizations in Tohoku, while the rest will be invested over the next two years of recovery.
Give2Asia has supported several projects that aim to rebuild the economy of Tohoku. Local partner Eat and Energize the East is restructuring supply and distribution chains for farming and fishing communities in the region, while testing their products to ensure they have not been contaminated by radiation. Another local partner, Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities, is placing 100 young, educated professionals with 50 local leaders to help them develop and implement new social services and business ventures.