Donations for Emergency Relief of Haiti Earthquake Victims
The executive committee of Rissho Kosei-kai's Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace, chaired by Rev. Yuji Numata, director of the Dharma Missions Bureau, announced on January 18 and 26 donations totaling 22.5 million Japanese yen for the emergency relief of victims of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12.
According to reports on January 15 by the Pan American Health Organization, the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, the earthquake killed more than 100,000 people and injured an estimated three million, or nearly a third of the island's population. According to Haiti's Interior Ministry, some 610,000 people took refuge in camps, where poor sanitation raised concerns over the possible spread of disease. In the most heavily damaged areas of the southern part of the island, blocked roads and collapsed buildings hampered access by relief organizations. Because of political instability and corruption, Haiti was already one of the world's poorest countries, and the earthquake made Haitians' plight even worse.
On January 18 the executive committee initially announced donations of five million yen to the World Food Programme (WFP) and three million yen to the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), both of which already had begun relief efforts. WFP was planning to distribute high-calorie biscuits among the victims, and AMDA was organizing field hospitals.
On January 26 the executive committee announced further donations for relief: three million yen to AMDA; two million yen to the WFP; seven million to JEN, a Japanese multiorganizational nonprofit group, of which Rissho Kosei-kai is a member; and 5 million to Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation.
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