More:Information on Japan's Earthquake and Tsunamis | How You Can Help | Travel-Related and Contact Information | For concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in Japan, email JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov.
If you've been following the aftermath of last week's massive earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan you're probably wondering how you can help. Millions are affected, recovery will be protracted and difficult.
Besides the initial, tragic effects of the disaster, millions of people in Japan still have no running water or power. Lines spanning city blocks and lasting hours are forming, as thousands look to acquire basic essentials. All supplies are being rationed.
As overwhelming images of the devastation rushes in Japan, many compassionate Americans feel the urge to help. The best way, however, to contribute to the massive relief effort is not always clear. The Center for International Disaster Information provides some very useful information on how you can help, and offers this guidance:
"When disasters happen abroad, the best and most effective way for Americans to help is to give cash. Donating cash instead of goods ensures that victims can get the quickest possible access to basic items on the ground provided by our experienced humanitarian partners.
"By learning how to give responsibly, and by making sure that others understand the importance of cash donations as well, you can have a real and lasting impact on the lives of international disaster victims."
For more information on how to help provide individual assistance to those affected by the disaster in Japan, please click here.
For the latest on the United States Agency for International Development's Response to the crisis in Japan, please click here.
Editor's Note: This entry also appears on the USAID Impact Blog.