Save the Children has sent emergency response teams to assess the needs of children and their families in the worst affected tsunami areas between Miyagi Prefecature and Tokyo in Japan.
“We are extremely concerned for children in tsunami-affected areas that are at risk because of a triple whammy of life-threatening incidents including an earthquake, tsunami and now an incident at a nuclear reactor,” Stephen McDonald, Save the Children’s team leader in Japan said.
The Save the Children teams will be within 80 miles of the nuclear reactor at Fukushima where there has been an explosion. In the area around the reactor, the authorities have set up a 12 mile radius exclusion zone, and have reported that up 170,000 people have been evacuated.
Evacuations centers are being established in the area and along the tsunami-affected coast to accommodate people, and it will be important that children’s needs are met while parents register for help and assistance from authorities.
“We’re looking to set up child-friendly spaces in the worst affected areas. These spaces provide children with an opportunity to play safely with other children while freeing up their parents to work on the recovery,” added McDonald.
Save the Children has been operating in Japan for 25 years.
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In fiscal year 2009, 90 percent of all expenditures went to program services. That percentage is an average for all of Save the Children's programs worldwide.