Businesses, Charities Step Forward With Assistance for Stricken Japan

Businesses, Charities Step Forward With Assistance for Stricken Japan

Two major financial services firms in New York City, the Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase, have announced multimillion-dollar commitments to aid relief efforts in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the island nation on Friday.

On Monday, Goldman Sachs announced that it was committing ¥500 million ($6.1 million) to relief efforts, while Chase pledged $5 million and will match employee contributions to the American Red Cross and World Vision. The contributions by the two financial firms more than doubled the amount contributed to relief efforts over the weekend. As of early Monday, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, more than $10 million had been donated to aid survivors of the disaster, including $7.75 million to the American Red Cross (more than $1 million of that via mobile text message) and $2.5 million to Save the Children.

To help address the immediate needs of survivors, emergency responders have been streaming into Japan since Saturday. By Monday morning, according to the New York Times, more than 1,800 people had been confirmed dead and more than 2,600 were missing.

Given the enormity of the devastation in Miyagi Prefecture, the area closest to the quake's epicenter, and the increasingly grave situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station complex, where inadequate water levels inside three reactors have caused partial meltdowns, it may be too early to say what kind of help is needed. According to Mikiko Dotsu, coordinator of an assessment team affiliated with Doctors Without Borders, Japanese officials reported that ninety of their disaster-response teams were at work in Miyage Prefecture alone. "At the moment, there is very little electricity and no water supply," Dotsu told the Los.Angeles Times. "People need food, blankets, and water. These needs are bigger than medical needs at the moment."

By Tuesday morning, according to the Chronicle, at least $24 million had been donated for earthquake and tsunami relief, including $1 million from the UPS Foundation.

Martin Fackler. "In Tsunami's Wake, Much Searching but Few Are Rescued." New York Times 03/14/2011. Molly Hennessy-Fiske. "International Aid Workers Arrive to Assist in Japan Earthquake Rescue Efforts." Los Angeles Times 03/12/2011. Nicole Wallace. "Giving for Japan Disaster Totals at Least $10-Million." Chronicle of Philanthropy 03/14/2011. Nicole Wallace. "American Red Cross Waits for Request for Help From Japanese Counterpart." Chronicle of Philanthropy 03/11/2011. "JPMorgan Chase Commits $5 Million in Aid to Victims of Japan Earthquake" JPMorgan Chase Press Release 03/14/2011. "Goldman Sachs to Donate ¥500 Million to Japan Earthquake Relief Efforts." Goldman Sachs Press Release 03/13/2011. "Japan: Significant Needs in Remote Quake and Tsunami-Hit Areas." Doctors Without Borders Press Release 03/14/2011.