PESHAWAR: Japan has extended a grant assistance of JPY 1 billion (approx. USD 9.5 million) to Pakistan for enhancing its capacity to confront COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between H.E. MATSUDA Kuninori, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Mr. Noor Ahmad, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in Islamabad on December 15, 2020.

In this program, more than 30 types of medical equipment including the Bedside X-ray Machine will be provided to medical institutions in Pakistan through the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), says a press release. The NDMA has taken effective measures against national-level disasters such as floods, earthquakes, COVID-19 and locust invasion since its establishment in 2007. The Embassy of Japan and NDMA have been working together since the beginning of COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan with due consideration to the need of front-line medical institutions.

In the signing ceremony, Ambassador MATSUDA clearly stated, “Our assistance will not only improve the capacity of controlling COVID-19 but will prepare for the risk in the future. The Government of Japan has expressed its strong commitment to this assistance, recognizing the necessity to go hand in hand on a global scale to confront the unknown viruses such as COVID-19.”

As for COVID-19, Japan delivered diagnostic kits in the beginning of February, three weeks before the first case was reported in Pakistan. Then, Japan provided a total of USD 7.41 million to Pakistan through international organizations. With this support to the NDMA, Japan’s support to Pakistan for controlling COVID19 will reach USD 16.91 million in total.

Also, the Japanese NGO “AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief Japan)” is implementing a 3-year project “Developing educational support system for children with Disabilities (CWDs)” in two primary schools: elementary and secondary schools in Haripur District (Government primary school No.4 for boys and Government primary school for girl’s TIP housing society) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province since November 2019.

The project aims to promote the educational opportunities of children with disabilities in the general education system by providing teachers training, building an accessible environment, and creating disability awareness.