48 hours after the 9.0 Richter scale earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March 2011, International Medical Corps' teams were on the ground. Our work continues. With this project, International Medical Corps continues to aid in recovery efforts as we help local organizations plan and prepare for the future through capacity-building and emergency preparedness planning - so that communities can support the most vulnerable, and families are better able to respond and recover from future disasters.
In 2012, scientists at Tokyo University released a report putting forward a 70% chance of a 7+ Richter-scale earthquake hitting Japan in the next 4 years near Tokyo, where the immediate causalities would reach tens of thousands. After the 2011 quake, it became clear that better coordination was required to leverage the strengths of local organizations to respond and meet the needs of the most vulnerable. Significant national emergency preparedness is ongoing in Japan, but it needs our help.
Today, International Medical Corps' work in Japan focuses on disaster risk reduction and training for local organizations. We work hand-in-hand with local organizations to identify gaps in emergency preparedness and response efforts and to build capacity. Using a series of workshops, ongoing mentorship and support networks, International Medical Corps will support local organizations in developing more robust disaster response plans.
Reflecting on lessons learned during the last disaster, Japanese NGOs are looking to build their emergency response capacity, particularly to prepare for large-scale disasters within Japan. By building the capacity of Japanese NGOs, locally-based organizations will be better able to respond quickly and meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities, including women, children and the elderly. Ultimately, families and communities will better able to recover and rebuild.