Japan Govt to Train Disaster Volunteers

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 13 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is planning to launch training programs to help people volunteering in disaster-hit areas acquire skills for supporting the livelihoods of affected residents, including evacuees at shelters.

It will be the first time for the government to nurture such disaster volunteers. The programs are aimed at fostering personnel with a certain level of knowledge and experience needed for the management of shelters and other support activities for people afflicted by disasters, in order to improve their living environment and prevent deaths resulting from causes indirectly related to natural disasters.

Currently, disaster volunteers dispatched via social welfare councils across Japan engage mainly in removing sediment and damaged furniture in afflicted areas. These volunteers are not usually involved in the management of shelters, such as securing meals, toilets and beds for users, and offering special care to aged evacuees, because such work requires experience and skills.

The Cabinet Office plans to set up, by the end of the current fiscal year through March 2022, a committee, comprising experts and others, that will hold discussions on specifics of the volunteer training programs.

The programs will be for nurturing "leaders," who will stay at shelters for a certain period and help with the management of the facilities, "advisers," in charge of visiting multiple shelters and giving advice and instructions to operators and evacuees, and "coordinators," to be tasked with liaising between medical and welfare experts, local government officials in charge and others.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press