Japan, UN announce $281 million assistance
01 March, 2013
KABUL: The government of Japan and the United Nations announced assistance worth $281 million for Afghanistan on Thursday.
"The Government of Japan and the United Nations announced US$ 281 million of assistance to Afghanistan for 14 projects to be implemented by nine UN agencies at a signing ceremony held today in Kabul," an United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) press release stated.
Among others the Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Jamaher Anwari, Ambassador of Japan Hiroshi Takahashi, the Resident Representative of JICA Yoshikazu Yamada, UNAMA Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Bowdeng, government counterparts and the representatives from the United Nations agencies funds and programmes were present on the occasion, the press release available with the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) stated.
"The assistance announced today aims to support the national development priorities identified by the Government of Afghanistan, and is a part of the commitment made by the Government of Japan last July at the Tokyo Conference," the press release added.
"The assistance announced today is a part of our commitment we made at the Tokyo Conference. In exchange, I expect the Afghan Government to implement their commitment, namely, to show improvement in anti-corruption and women's empowerment and to conduct free and fair Elections," said Ambassador Takahashi at the ceremony.
"He also requested the UN agencies and the Afghan Government for transparency and accountability in utilizing the funds, and to ensure the assistance is delivered to the intended beneficiaries," the statement said.
The funds announced today will be utilized to provide support in agriculture, education, health, police, reintegration process, governance and humanitarian assistance.
The UN agencies and funds receiving grants are the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Human Settlements Porgramme (UN-Habitat), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). UNICEF and FAO will implement their projects jointly with JICA.
"The United Nations welcomes the continued and outstanding support from the Government of Japan, which enables the UN agencies, funds and programmes to work more closely with their Government counterparts to deliver services to approximately 3,600,000 men, women and children in health and education, to support communities with irrigation systems, alternative livelihoods and de-mining, to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable population, internally displaced and the returnees and to strengthen institutional capacities, including law enforcement and sub-national governance," said the UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Mark Bowden.
The government of Japan has been supporting Afghanistan's peace and reconstruction since 2001, and it is currently the second largest donor to Afghanistan after the US.