Charity Aid Group in Japan to Help Relief Efforts

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The Christian Broadcasting Network's Operation Blessing International has joined relief agencies from the U.S. and around the world for a massive humanitarian relief effort in Japan in the wake of Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The charity aid organization based in Virginia Beach, Va., already has representatives meeting with Japanese church and government leaders to evaluate people's needs and to see how to help.

See a special AP Interactive on the humanitarian and nuclear crisis facing Japan.

Operation Blessing has extensive experience in dealing with the aftermath of tsunamis. Following the 2004 tsunami -- after the emergency food, water and medical efforts were no longer needed -- the charity did long-term projects by building boats for fishing families, homes for displaced refugees, and new schools and clinics in tsunami-ravaged coastal communities.

An Operation Blessing medical team from the Philippines is also making preparations to go to the island nation. The leader of the team is Dr. Kim Pascual, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Operation Blessing Philippines. Pascual has led the organization's crisis response teams in Iraq, Indonesia, Philippines and various other areas of the world.

Joining the Operation Blessing team will be members of IsraAid, an Israeli humanitarian organization that OBI has partnered with for earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010.

The charity has also partnered with Humedica, a German medical ministry that specializes in disaster medicine. They have provided a team of doctors and nurses who will travel to the hardest hit area.

Operation Blessing International is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis.

The aid group was awarded Charity Navigator's coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row in 2009, a feat that only 4 percent of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

Find out how you can help CBN's Operation Blessing International meet the needs the people of Japan and others around the world.

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