CRS, Caritas Quake and Tsunami Aid to Focus on Japan

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Houses swept by a tsunami smolder near Sendai Airport in Japan March 11, 2011. Photo by REUTERS/KYODO, courtesy

Catholic Relief Services is working with Caritas International and others to find pathways to bring aid to the many thousands stricken by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan.

“The people of Japan who have suffered this tragedy are our brothers and sisters,” Sean Callahan, vice president of overseas operations said. “Though it is too early to know the exact details of how we will help, we know that it is our mission to aid them in this time of need. As our mission is to serve the world’s most poor and vulnerable people, CRS does not normally have a program in Japan. But, just as we did after the Kobe Earthquake in 1995, we will find appropriate partners for the expression of generosity by Catholics in the United States and others of goodwill.”

“CRS has determined there was minimal damage from the tsunami in countries where we have programs – such as the Philippines and Indonesia,” said Callahan. “Our focus now is on the people of Japan.”

Caritas Japan has indicated that for now it will not be involved in immediate relief work, a huge operation run by the Japanese Army, but will focus on long-term recovery. In a statement, Caritas Japan noted that the damage is not only physical but also psychological. “We will accompany people who lost their beloved, who lost everything and may stay at temporary shelter, and who have no one to rely on,” the statement said.

The president of Caritas Japan, Bishop Isao Kikuchi SVD says, “We have received so many emails from all continents, filled with words of compassion and prayer. We are very grateful for this solidarity. We believe that aid activity is needed, but prayer is also important in such a situation.”

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3 Responses to “CRS, Caritas Quake and Tsunami Aid to Focus on Japan”

  1. Carlos M. Castaneda Says:

    My name is Carlos M Castaneda, I’m a private citizen that is devastaded and fill with sorrow because of the tragedy that affects the nation of Japan, I wish to send my prayers and condolance to the habitants of Sundai and other regions that has suffer this calamity, that affects every person with feelings and humanity in the world.
    Carlos M. Castaneda

  2. Manuel W. Gonzalez Says:

    We are just beginning to understand the magnitude of the disaster- My prayers go out to the Japanese people to get the strength in the souls, bodies and minds to come out of this soon and look forward a brighter day-
    Although Japan is a rich country I am sure they can use any assistance we can provide.
    Please pray for the Japanese people in their time of suffering.

  3. Faye Burkett Says:

    My heart is completely broken and sad for the tremendous losses the people of Japan have experienced and are suffering even now. I want to take each of them in my arms and comfort them. I have shed a lot of tears and uttered heart felt prayers that will continue for these suffering souls for weeks to come. My own heartache is lessened on hearing that 90 countries, among them Afghanistan and China, are coming to the aid of Japan. Why oh why does it take such hardship for humans to come together in common struggles. May our Lord be praised and glorified. May the whole world come to know and live in peace.

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