As the world sees no end in sight to COVID-19, in case of disasters, it is crucial to have infection prevention measures established in advance. On November 6, A-PAD Japan launched a project to provide personal hygiene kits at evacuation centers across Japan.
The project will be funded by donations collected through a government crowd-funding, Furusato Nozei ("Hometown Tax") scheme in Saga Prefecture. The project aims to improve the hygiene environment and prevent further casualties from infectious diseases in disaster settings. The target amount is 1.5 million yen (approximately USD15,000) and donations will be accepted until February 3, 2021.
▼ Project page
■10,000 yen can provide hygiene kits for 3 people: Hygiene kit includes masks, tooth brush, nail clipper, disinfecting wipes, razor, and more.
A-PAD Japan has been working with the Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA), a group consisting of 56 businesses and 7 CSOs, and distributing goods and services during disaster assistance.
Disaster response in Japan tends to be focused around post-disaster assistance. However, initiating disaster response after the onset of disasters can often create delays in delivering relief items when help is most needed. On the other hand, once the initial phase is over, disaster-affected areas begin receiving a large amount of relief items all at once, resulting in overwhelming the recipient municipalities. A-PAD Japan is trying to solve this problem by preparing hygiene kits in advance so that timely distribution can be managed at the onset of disaster.
A-PAD Japan came up with the idea of hygiene kits from the West Japan Floods in 2018. During that disaster, A-PAD Japan distributed nail clippers, razors, Q-tips and other hygiene items at evacuation centers. Evacuees fled their homes without taking any personal belongings and we heard from the evacuees that those hygiene items were very useful. In addition, dental hygiene is crucial when people's general health tend to decline and become more susceptible to pneumonia, flu, and other respiratory illnesses.
Because of COVID-19, many people are hesitant to go to evacuation centers. Hygiene kits can help people experience healthier and a more hygienic living environment during their stay at evacuation centers.
A-PAD Japan plans to distribute the hygiene kits at evacuation centers across Japan affected by disasters. Fundraising will continue for hygiene kits and A-PAD also aims to always maintain 1,000 kits in stock.
Hygiene kits include items that were much needed during the past disasters. A-PAD aims to focus on items that municipalities do not normally maintain in stock.
90% of total donations through Furusato Nozei will be disbursed to A-PAD Japan. The target amount, 1.5 million yen, can purchase hygiene kits for 500 people. A 10,000 yen donation can purchase hygiene kits for 3 people with thank you gifts and for 6 people if opting out of thank you gifts.
Thank you gifts are comprised of local products from Saga - Saga beef, Arita porcelain, and more. Many businesses saw a sharp decline in sales due to COVID-19. As result, Saga Prefecture is promoting local products and A-PAD Japan is also supporting those businesses by procuring locally made thank you gifts.
The hygiene kit distribution project is a part of activities implemented by ARROWS (Airborne Rescue and Relief Operations With Search).