The earthquake and resulting tsunami that ravished Japan is going down in history books as one of the most destructive natural disasters to have occurred. As relief efforts are underway, global contributions are streaming in to aid the recovery process.

Credit: Japanese Red Cross

On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck with a record-breaking 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that left thousands dead and landscapes destroyed. As the world’s third-largest economy, the country is facing an estimated cost of $180 billion USD for recovery and reconstruction in the long term.

While Japan is struggling to control the nuclear threats posed by its power plants, organizations around the world are working to find survivors, set up shelters, offer medical assistance, and much more.

Following news of the quake, President Obama vowed to offer any assistance that Japan needed.

Banks and other financial institutions are among some of the largest financial donors to aid the emergency and long-term relief efforts. But, compared to the projected cost of the disaster, it doesn’t amount to much. Nevertheless, the Red Cross and other non-profit organizations will be receiving plenty of financial assistance with more to come.

Banks and Financial Institutions Support Relief Efforts

  • Bank of America pledged to contribute $1.22 million (100 million yen) to the victims of the catastrophe. The American Red Cross, which is partnering with the Japanese Red Cross Society, will be the recipient of 50 million yen while the remaining 50 million yen will be used towards long-term recovery in the coming weeks and months.
  • JPMorgan Chase announced a $5 million (408 million yen) commitment to support charitable and relief organizations that include the American Red Cross and World Vision.
  • U.S. Bank is donating $100,000 (8.2 million yen) to help Japan’s disaster relief efforts. The fund will go to the American Red Cross, which is providing food, water, medical supplies and other emergency services.
  • TD Bank, acknowledging the massive scale of the disaster, donated CDN$100,000 (8.4 million yen) to the Red Cross to support relief efforts.
  • First Hawaiian Bank announced the establishment of the the Japan-Hawaii Relief Fund and has donated $100,000 (8.2 million yen) to the Fund. The bank is accepting contributions to the Fund through March 31, 2011, which will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
  • Union Bank announced it will donate $250,000 (20.4 million yen) through its Union Bank Foundation to organizations that are assisting relief efforts for victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. Union Bank is also offering fee waivers and special rates for customers requiring banking services for Japan relief efforts.
  • Bank of the West said it will contribute up to $200,000 (16.2 million yen) to help victims in Japan. The bank will direct $100,000 to support towards relief and recovery efforts and will also match employee contributions up to an additional $100,000. Bank of the West will also waive fund transfers from the U.S. to Japan through April 30, 2011.
  • American Express Company will donate $100,000 (8.2 million yen) to the Red Cross and Save the Children. Additionally, American Express will rebate the merchant swipe fees for charitable contributions made with an AmEx card to a non-profit organizations list on the USAID website through May 15, 2011.
  • Goldman Sachs announced a financial contribution of $6.1 million (500 million yen) to assist with the emergency relief efforts.
  • Morgan Stanley said it will donate $1.22 million (100 million yen) to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
  • Visa, the world’s largest electronic payments network, will waive interchange fees on donations made through April 30, 2011 to a group of major charities that are supporting relief efforts. Also, revenue generated from eligible contributions through April 30, 2011 will be donated to the Red Cross. Finally, Visa will make a philanthropic donation.
  • MasterCard pledges a corporate donation of $250,000 (20.4 million yen) and interchange fees will be waived for eligible charities. Additionally, MasterCard will donate revenues generated by charitable contributions to these organizations through May 15, 2011.

How You Can Donate to the Red Cross

If you would like to make a charitable contribution to the American Red Cross that is dedicated towards the relief efforts of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, visit the American Red Cross donation page.

Or, you can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 and a $10 donation will be made in your name and debited under your phone bill.

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