Project HOPE was a rapid responder to the Great East Japan Earthquake/Tsunami in March 2011 sending a disaster relief team to Japan’s northeast region of Tōhoku to assess three prefectures hit by the double disaster earthquake/tsunami. In response to requests from Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America, Ichiro FUJISAKI and prefecture health authorities, Project HOPE sent 45 health volunteers to the disaster area to assist local health workers caring for victims of the disaster in the cities of Ichinomaki and Kesennuma from March through August 2011. The majority of the volunteers were Japanese speaking and licensed health care providers studying or practicing in the U.S.
After completing assessments of over 12 cities and towns affected by the disaster, Project HOPE adopted the small fishing town of Yamada-machi in the central east coast of Iwate prefecture, one of the most heavily damaged prefectures and towns. The almost complete submersion of the town and subsequent fires resulted in a nearly 80% destruction of the town and its infrastructure.
Beginning in March 2012, HOPE began supplying Yamada-machi with two Registered Nurses and one Physical Therapist on an ongoing basis to support an urgent request from the town’s mayor and health director to help staff the town’s destroyed hospital and public and private clinics.
In addition, HOPE is implementing a Great East Japan Earthquake/Tsunami hospital reconstruction project in the town of Yamada-machi with local partner Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) and generous support from the Medtronic Foundation.
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