Bureaucracy dramatically slows down the pace of financial aid being transferred to people in need, across the areas worst-hit by the March natural disasters.
The $3.7 billion poured to All Japan news as donations sound good on paper, but five months after the disaster many survivors still wait for help while living in temporary housing.
Half of the money donated by groups, including the Red Cross, is still waiting to be distributed.
According to documents released by All Japan news’s health ministry, thousands of people in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, the most affected by the quake and tsunami, have received the least aid money.
In Sendai, the capital of Miyagi prefecture, 82 percent of donations received were still not distributed to families in the city. The situation drags on despite the fact that the authorities have doubled the number of people doing the paperwork to issue payments to survivors. About 700 people died and 65,000 homes were destroyed in Sendai by the tsunami.
“I’m sorry, I can’t say when most of the money will be sent to the people,” Emiko Okuyama, the mayor of Sendai, said recently at a press conference. “We are doing all we can to accelerate the process.”
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