WFP is also part of the big team

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Since I last wrote you, I visited parts of Japan that were hit by the tsunami.

I thought I’d see wrecked houses, but it was worse. I could only see foundation stones of houses which barely showed that there were once houses here. I’ve never seen anything like it before. One minute, as you’re driving, everything looks normal. Cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The next minute, the whole scene drastically changes.

Everything was washed away. If you look carefully, you’ll see household items scattered across the ground: toys, notebooks, spices, pots and pans, a radio, photo albums – each of them a piece of somebody’s life.

Everyone in my group was silent. We didn’t know what to say.

That was the shocking part. Then we went to the Evacuation Centre where WFP was distributing high-energy biscuits and building a large tent that would be used as a warehouse to stock relief supplies. Here, I saw the remarkable strength and determination of the survivors. One man told me, “We will never give up. I promise you that this will be a great town the next time you come. With your cooperation, we will persevere.”

To see for yourself, watch this video of Japanese model Kurara Chibana visiting the wreckage and find out how your contribution is making a difference:

I saw with my own eyes that the aid we provided was effective. In gratitude to each and every supporter, the survivors repeatedly said “thank you”.

The people of Japan can feel that the world was there to help them. Donations came not only from developed countries but also developing countries – countries that Japan had helped in the past. It’s quite moving.

Lastly, I need to mention that the workers on the ground are absolute heroes. Many of them lost close family members and all their belongings, but they remain committed to helping other survivors and rebuilding their country.

Everyone is doing their part and working together. WFP is also part of the big team, supporting the local people and workers who are determined to support their fellows and rebuild their own country. It’s a truly unique and impressive operation.

Thank you for helping to make it possible,


Ms. Yuko Yasuda
Japan Spokesperson
World Food Programme

P.S. To watch the longer version of the video, click here.


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