SAN FRANCISCO — The Japanese American Citizens League announced Tuesday that it has joined with Direct Relief International in an effort to support relief and recovery efforts in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The JACL, founded in 1929, is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the U.S. and has a chapter in Japan.
Direct Relief International, established in 1948, is a privately funded humanitarian organization with decades-long experience in emergency response and humanitarian health assistance worldwide.
The organizations joined together in the face of this huge crisis to ensure that contributions to assist Japan are used in the most productive and efficient manner possible. All funds donated to the Japan Relief and Recovery Fund, which will be managed by Direct Relief International, will be dedicated exclusively to relief and recovery efforts in Japan.
Floyd Mori, national executive director of JACL, said: “The JACL has formed this partnership with Direct Relief International because of the large number of inquiries of concerned members, partners, and friends who are anxious to help in a meaningful way and who want to join with the JACL in doing so. We thank all those who have already contributed and encourage others to join the JACL and Direct Relief in this worthwhile effort.”
“Direct Relief’s long experience in emergency response and efficient, transparent use of donated funds and JACL’s extensive network both within the United States and in Japan will ensure that resources made available for this crisis are well managed, well spent, and used in the most productive manner possible,” said Direct Relief CEO and President Thomas Tighe.
Direct Relief Director of International Programs and Emergency Response Brett Williams is traveling to Japan this week. He has led the organization’s extensive assistance to Haiti, where Direct Relief has been the largest provider of medical material and aid (800 tons worth $60 million) since the quake in January 2010. Similar aid is expected for Japan.
Mori and Tighe issued the following joint statement: “This is a massive, complex emergency in Japan that we recognize is beyond the capacity of any one organization to address fully, so we believe this collaboration makes great sense, and we encourage other people, businesses, and organizations to join together to support people in Japan at this most difficult time.”
Anyone wishing to contribute in this manner may go online to www.jacl.org and click on the link provided.