The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will distribute the relief items in partnership with the Japanese Red Cross Society, targeting some 8,000 families in the affected provinces of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.
The funding decision was spearheaded by European Commissioner for International Cooperation, humanitarian aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva, who was the first high-level international politician to visit Japan after the disaster.
Since the early hours of 11 March when the disaster hit Japan, the European Commission has been in constant contact with the Japanese authorities and ready to assist with humanitarian aid.
On March 26, a European plane provided free of charge by Lufthansa delivered to Tokyo 72 tons of relief items offered by member states. Since then, three other shipments of European relief aid have arrived in the country, including 50 radiation dose rate devices. Another flight with European assistance (food, tents, sleeping bags, gloves and rubber boots), provided free of charge by AeroLogic, DHL, and Lufthansa is on its way to Japan today (4 April).
An EU Civil Protection team comprising of 15 experts has been in Japan since 19 March and with help from the EU delegation in Tokyo have been working on the delivery of European assistance in Japan.