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USG Response to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Ari Alexander highlights USAID’s recent conference call to provide stakeholders with information on the USG response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
USAID Japan photo

Local residents look at a mountain of debris left by the March 11 tsunami and earthquake in Natori in Miyagi Prefecture on March 16, 2011. Photo credit: Toru Yamanaka / AFP

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of offers to assist the people of Japan in the wake of the disastrous earthquake and tsunami.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is leading the US Government’s response.  We hosted a conference call this past Thursday in order for you to hear directly from Nancy Lindborg, our Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.  A couple of key points that I want to highlight from the call and share with you:

  • The Government of Japan is leading the disaster response efforts.  USAID is seeking to play the most effective role we can in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Japanese friends in responding to this disaster.  President Obama spoke at the White House on the tragic events in Japan.  Click here to read or view the President’s comments on how we are working aggressively to support our ally at this time of extraordinary challenge. 
  • For those organizations with staff in Japan, we are happy to help you connect with coordination efforts on the ground.  Please email for additional information.  For those of you who are not in Japan, we encourage you to consider supporting the organizations that are already there.  For more information on what USAID is doing and organizations accepting donations for the Japanese earthquake response, visit USAID’s Japan response website
  • When disasters happen abroad, the best and most effective way for Americans to help is to give cash. One person's informed donation decision can make a big difference for many victims. Monetary gifts in any amount - big or small - are absolutely essential to swift, efficient and successful international disaster relief efforts.  Read more about the importance of cash donations on the USAID Impact blog.  

Again, if you have questions or comments regarding logistics or how to connect with the humanitarian coordination efforts on the ground, please email

If you have more general questions or would like to sign up to receive notification of future calls and email updates on the Japan response, please email  In addition, please use to provide feedback on how future calls best serve your needs.

Ari Alexander is Director of the Center for Faith-based & Community Initiatives and the Senior Advisor to the Administrator for NGO Partnerships and Global Engagement at USAID.