Solidarity with Japan

Solidarity with Japan: the Group and its employees rallie their forces to help the victims

April 15, 2011

Immediately after the disaster that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, sanofi-aventis and its employees rallied round the Japanese affiliate to roll out emergency relief actions.

A call for donations was launched in all the subsidiaries of sanofi-aventis, sanofi pasteur and Merial worldwide.


A total of €250,000 was collected in over 20 countries

This amount, plus a matching sum from the Foundation of €200,000, adds to the exceptional sum of €1 million already donated to the Japanese Red Cross.

This substantial financial support, together with the donations of medicines from the Japanese affiliate, will support communities so deeply affected by the disaster over the longer term, particularly in the area of post-emergency healthcare.

Since this relief operation began, our Japanese Red Cross partner has focused on providing medical and psychological assistance. Its 26 teams are still working in hospitals, evacuation centers and mobile clinics that address smaller communities and those located in more remote areas. Mobile teams also deliver care to residents in communities where health facilities are no longer operational and to people who are unable to move away. Isolated elderly and disabled people are receiving special attention.

Since the very beginning of the disaster, the Japanese Red Cross mobilized 605 people from its national network of 92 hospitals and 168 others are ready to spring into action, bringing the number of aid staff involved in this operation to about 3,000.

This tragedy has had a very severe psychological impact, and the Red Cross continues to step up its actions in this area. The Japanese Red Cross has 2,369 nurses trained in psycho-social support, 367 of whom are also instructors.
A counseling center was set up in Ishinomaki hospital five days after the disaster to help traumatized families. A second center was opened on April 4 at the Iwate Red Cross unit in Morioka. The elderly and children are receiving priority care.

One month on, the Japanese authorities are preparing an initial assessment:

After the earthquake that triggered a violent tsunami on April 10, and the aftershocks that followed until April 7, the toll stands at nearly 28,000 dead or missing. The figures provided by the Japanese national police refer to 12,985 confirmed deaths and 14,809 people missing.

A total of some 492,000 people have been evacuated. It is difficult to accurately quantify the population now living in evacuation centers; estimates range from 160,000 to 170,000.

There are currently more than 2,000 temporary shelters in seventeen prefectures, and 174 new centers have recently been opened in Aomori. The people who have been living in these centers are gradually returning to their homes once running water and electricity have been restored.

The government will build 70,000 prefabricated houses with a kitchen, bathroom and toilet in the Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate prefectures.

The estimated cost of the damage caused by the disaster is around US$ 309 billion.