As Japan continues to pinball between almost incomprehensible disasters, the world is stepping up to help. And Canada is no exception.
In addition to the federal government — which has pledged an array of expertise and technical assistance as well as the Canadian Forces — homegrown humanitarian and relief agencies are in high gear, deploying teams, fundraising and otherwise assisting in any way possible.
“We have made our complete resources available,” John Saunders, director of disaster management in Ontario with the Canadian Red Cross, tells Samaritanmag. “Internationally, we have two mobile field hospitals that are complete surgical units that can be deployed on request from the Japanese Red Cross. And we’re basically on standby at this point for any human or material resources they may require.
“The Japanese Red Cross is a very robust emergency management program with over one million volunteers trained in disaster response,” Saunders continues. “They also have over 50,000 individuals trained to assist in emergency medical teams — so doctors, nurses and medics who are specifically able to be deployed for emergency medical help. All those resources are being engaged.
“Once those resources are exhausted, that’s when the international teams would step up to supplement the strong existing Japanese team. Right now, we are financially assisting them in the costs of relief programs such as bottled water to the millions without it, sheltering operations and medical assistance.”
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.