Emergency Appeal: Flooding in Western Japan

July 16, 2018


In its worst weather disaster in decades, Japan is dealing with massive floods and landslides in more than 11 prefectures. These are the result of torrential rain that started in early July.  So far, 214 deaths have been confirmed, 19 people remain missing according to CNN, and around 5,000 people reside in evacuation centers across the prefectures.

Wide scale floods have terrified many and have left ruins behind in towns that need to be cleaned up before recovery efforts can begin. The path to recovery is a challenging one, particularly when the activities are hindered by staggering summer heat which could top 100 degrees Fahrenheit.   CNN reports that, “tens of thousands of households remain without electricity and water. That, combined with the heat, is making the clean up operation far worse.” Debris, which has now dried, is very difficult to scrape off. Volunteers are coming to help with the cleanup efforts, but they are also facing a second fight: the fight against dehydration.

One resident said, “the experience was frightening and shocking, but we all need to work in solidarity if we are going to recover.”  Assistance to create such sense of solidarity towards recovery is critically needed, and it is more than just an aid delivery.


Our team in Japan is responding through our partners. One such partner is medical organization Humanitarian Medical Assistance, or HuMA, which is sending doctors and nurses to evacuation centers. Just as importantly, HuMA is serving in a coordination capacity for medical response.  They are convening twice daily health cluster meetings with several medical organizations to ensure a coordination of care.

The immediate focus of CWS assistance will be to provide necessary health and hygiene support at evacuation centers, so that secondary disasters are avoided.  The evacuees are going to stay in the evacuation centers for at least next few months, particularly until when schools re-open in early September, so the care to be provided during this time is critical.  Furthermore, recovery efforts such as clearing debris, restoring livelihoods and assisting those who couldn’t make it to the evacuation centers need swift support.

At the same time, CWS Japan will also partner with academia in Japan to analyze Disaster Risk Reduction lessons which should be communicated from this disaster to both domestic and international stakeholders.


CWS has issued a $300,000 appeal for this response. The breakdown of expenses is as follows:

  1. Emergency medical assistance: $150,000
  2. Hygiene / healthcare supplies and awareness activities: $70,000
  3.  Volunteer dispatch and management: $60,000
  4. Operations: $20,000


Contributions to support CWS flood response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (please designate 700Y – Japan Flood Response). Donations may also be made online through the CWS Japan website.