Foreign aid promised for Japan, but where is it?

Scores of countries have pledged aid to the victims of Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami, but little of it is visible in many towns and villages devastated by the disaster. In some areas, as victims return to what remains of their homes, an unorganized and often chaotic array of help awaits them — from boxes of donated clothes to free pet food, almost all donated by fellow Japanese.

Roads are wrecked in many areas, and there are acute shortages of fuel. And sometimes, people face problems in finding aid shipments.

"Word of mouth seems to work best," said Machiko Kawahata as she, her daughter and granddaughter looked for clothes at a drop-off point in Kamaishi, a coastal town in northeastern Japan.

No guards were around, no city officials on hand as victims took what they wanted from hundreds of boxes.

"All we have had is the clothes on our backs. But they are good enough. They’ve kept us warm through all of this," Kawahata said.

"We will make do and we will make it through this. If one place offers us half a rice ball to eat, then that is all we will eat."

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