Japan announces $3.7m for Afghan refugees, host communities in country


The Japa­nese government announ­ced on Monday a contribution of $3.7 million to support UN refugee agency’s programmes and activities for Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan.

The three-year project will focus on education, livelihood assistance and community structures in Balo­chistan, Khyber Pakhtun­khwa and Punjab, benefitt­ing over 240,000 individuals.

Ambassador of Japan Ma­­tsuda Kuninori and Repre­sentative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) No­­ri­ko Yoshida signed an agr­e­ement at a ceremony in Isl­­amabad. Chief Commis­sio­ner for Afghan Refugees Saleem Khan was present on the occasion.

“Acquiring education and vocational skills is vital for the social inclusion of Af­­g­han refugees. In this proj­ect, we will continue to provide financial support, which will greatly contribute to the stability and peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Peace and stability are the preconditions for achieving voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan,” said the Japanese ambassador.

Ms Yoshida thanked the people and the government of Japan for their generosity towards refugees and host communities. “This funding will go a long way to empowering young refugees and Pakistanis through skills development and education,” she said.

The UNHCR representative further said that given the protracted Afghan refugee situation in Pakistan, Japan is supporting sustained investments for easing the burden on host communities.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief commissioner for Afghan refugees said that Pakistan had been hosting Afghan refugees for over 40 years. He called on the international community to step up their support for large refugee-hosting countries.

“Japan has always played its part in supporting huma­nitarian efforts in Pakis­tan,” Mr Saleem Khan said.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1608857/japan-announces-37m-for-afghan-refugees-host-communities-in-country

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