PESHAWAR: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomed the contribution made by the Government of Japan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and their host communities in Pakistan.

The Government of Japan announced a donation of USD 1 million to strengthen UNHCR’s efforts to meet the most urgent needs in the current situation, says a press release.

The new funding will help supply health facilities with personal protective equipment and hygiene supplies, and upgrade water and sanitation facilities.

The UNHCR Deputy Representative in Pakistan, Mr. Iain Hall, commended the Government and people of Japan for their generous and timely donation. He said that the support will go a long way in assisting refugees and Pakistani host communities, and provide much-needed relief under these difficult circumstances.

The Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. MATSUDA Kuninori, also said: “The spread of COVID-19 has become a serious issue worldwide, and it is now crucial for the international community to take necessary measures to address this disease.”He further stated that “the Government of Japan will continue to support the Government of Pakistan not only in its efforts to fight against COVID-19 but also in other matters related to Japan-Pakistan socio-economic development cooperation.”

In response to the COVID-19 global humanitarian appeal, Japan generously donated a total of USD 23.9 million to urgently assist refugees around the world.

The Government of Japan is one of UNHCR’s largest donors and supporters of many years.

Meanwhile, as a part of efforts to promote human security, the Government of Japan has decided to provide financial assistance of US$ 236,230 for four social development projects in education and rural electrification in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces.

The grants will be provided to four national NGOs, ① Learning Awareness & Motivation Programme (LAMP) in Khyber district, ② Friends Welfare Association (FWA) in Torghar district, ③ Hana Development Council (HDC) in Mandi Bahauddin district and ④ Actions for Human Advancement (AHAT) in Kasur district.

Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Matsuda Kuninori, in a statement few days ago congratulated the recipient organizations for winning the Japanese grant for their respective development projects.

He especially added his strong desire that education will promote understanding and respect to the others and different culture, then will promote peace and stability.