Disaster Relief Funding by Private Grants and POs: Actors Supporting “Paradise” After Disaster
Faculty of Public Affairs, Osaka University of Commerce
4-1-10 Mikuriyasakae-machi, Higashiosaka, Osaka 577-8505, Japan
Following various tragic accidents, a civil society utopia has emerged to overcome the terrible situations through altruistic behaviors and mutual aid. Rebecca Solnit describes it as “a paradise built in hell.” As a means for civil society to support large-scale disasters, assistance is provided directly or indirectly through financial donations, relief supplies, or sending volunteers to disaster-affected areas. Such disaster relief assistance emerged post the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE). Indirect disaster relief takes the form of making contributions to nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to support disaster-stricken areas and people. Despite grants provided to NPOs, obtaining comprehensive data on their activities is difficult because of the enormous assistance they receive. Thus, research on civil society’s private disaster relief funding systems for the GEJE works remains limited. Additionally, it is difficult to deduce the number of program officers (POs) in charge of disaster relief activities for the GEJE. These POs belong to various foundations, companies, and NPOs. Apart from NPOs or charitable foundations, private companies have also established disaster relief grant systems for NPOs to aid disaster relief assistance. This study addresses the above concerns by reporting recent survey results to understand the role of private grants and POs in managing fund distribution to the NPOs working for the GEJE disaster relief. The study concludes from the survey that at least 25 private grant systems were launched, and they supplied more than JPY 40.57 billion (USD 391.26 million) from 2011 to 2020 for disaster relief activities by NPOs.
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