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Japan announces $7m grant for Afghans in Pakistan

Japan announces $7m grant for Afghans in Pakistan

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Mar 09, 2017 - 18:28

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Japan has announced a $7 million contribution to the UN refugee agency UNHCR and Worldinfo-icon Food Programme (WFP) to support the Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistaninfo-icon.

The official announcement was made by Pakistan’s State Minister for Frontier Regions Abdul Quadir Baloch and Japanese ambassador in Pakistan Takashi Kurai in Islamabad during a press event.

Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Indrika Ratwatte, UNHCR Assistant Representative (Protection) Ms. Tracey Maulfair, WFP Country Director and Representative Finbarr Curran, and Representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATAinfo-icon) Secretariat and KP government were also present.

The government of Japan has allocated $3 million to UNHCR for implementation of its priority interventions in the provision of legal assistance to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

The funding by Japan will, in addition to providing legal assistance to an estimated 22,500 refugees in Pakistan, also support an estimated 50,000 persons from the refugee population and the communities hosting them in accessing healthinfo-icon care and educationinfo-icon, as well as some 210 youths who will be undergoing vocational training courses throughout Pakistan. 

With the assistance, WFP will support 82,389 beneficiaries including 42,874 children of 6-59 months of age and 39,515 pregnant and lactating womeninfo-icon over the period of six months.

The $4 million will enable WFP to procure a total of 1,097 metric tons of quality “Ready-to-Use supplementary foods” that will be distributed in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province i.e. Peshawar, Nowshera, Hangu and Kohat, identified as the districts hosting the highest number of Afghan refugees and host communities. 

Speaking at the occasion, Quadir Baloch said that “the interventions are in line with the Government of Pakistan’s priorities to ensure adequate nutritious food provision to Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan.”

He said the government of Pakistan was committed to maintaining food security and protection of the Afghan population living in Pakistan.

He said his ministry will be working in close liaison with UNHCR and WFP to provide continuous support to Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan.

Ambassador of Japan Takashi Kurai said their government attached great importance to supporting Afghan refugees and their host communities.

“With this grant from people of Japan, assistance will be provided to host communities as well as Afghan refugees.”

He added: “I am sure that this assistance will significantly alleviate the burden on them (host communities). Japan has been assisting Afghan refugees in Pakistan and their host communities for more than ten years with the grant aid of more than USD 200 million.”

He hoped the grant aid would be fully utilized and put positive impact on the young generations and thus the future of Afghan refugees and host communities.

Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Indrika Ratwatte expressed gratitude to the government and people of Japan for demonstrating their commitment and supporting the uprooted people. “Japan has always been a strong supporter of the global humanitarian efforts,” Ratwatte said, adding with this contribution, WFP and UNHCR will be able to provide meaningful support and assistance to those in need”.

WFP Country Director and Representative Finbarr Curran said that “the Government of Japan has been a key partner in maintaining food security and nutrition of temporarily displaced population in Pakistan and Afghan refugees.”

“The joint partnership will contribute towards supporting the triparty agreement between Governments of Pakistan, Afghanistaninfo-icon and Iran for sustainable return of Afghan refugees in their country of return. WFP foresees that these investments in nutrition programme will have a significant impact on the economic development of both countries”.

Pakistan has been home to millions of Afghans for more than 37 years and continues to host the world’s largest protracted refugee population.

pr/ma

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