Afghanistan + 3 more

Japan and United Nations jointly announce assistance of $281 million to Afghanistan

KABUL, 28 February 2013 – 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.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Jamaher Anwari, the Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Yoshikazu Yamada, the Resident Representative of JICA, Mr. Mark Bowden, UNAMA Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Government counterparts and the representatives from the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes.

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 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 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 Programme (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. The United Nations agencies have been a long-time implementing partner of the Government of Japan in Afghanistan.

UNICEF receives US$ 29.2 million in support of two key areas, namely US$ 15.2 million for improving the health of nearly three million people, including 600,000 women of child bearing age and 510,000 children under five and US$ 14 million for promoting sustainable quality education through the Child Friendly Schools (CFS) approach, with 945,000 students in ten provinces benefitting. Contact: Rajat Madhok, Communication Specialist, +93(0)790-507-111,

UN-Habitat is funded US$ 23.77 million for its Community-Based Municipal Support Programme in five cities to support the municipalities to manage the rapid urban growth by strengthening institutional capacity of municipalities. Contact: Wataru Kawasaki, Monitoring and Reporting Coordinator, +93(0)791-611-019,

FAO is funded US$ 23.23 million for Programme for Improvement of Irrigation Systems in three provinces, targeting 70,000 rural households, for the period of 34 months. Contact: Paul Schlunke, Chief Technical Advisor, +93 (0) 797254967,

UNDP receives US$ 134.5 million for four key areas: US$ 122.5 million for support for enhancement of Afghan national police force (LOTFA); US$ 6.84 million for support for reintegration of disbanded Illegally Armed Groups (IAGs) through community development projects (NABDP); US$ 3.16 million for support to capacity and institutional building of the central and local governments in Afghanistan for provision of quality and reliable public services (NIBP) and US$ 2 million for support to capacity and institutional building of sub-national governance bodies(ASGP) Contact: Kumar M Tiku, Communications Specialist, +93 (0) 797789721,

UNODC receives total US$ 6 million for the two areas including; US$ 2.5 million for law enforcement capacity building and alternative livelihoods interventions and US$ 1.2 million for Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation. Contact: Jelena Bjelica, External Relations Officer, +93(0)796-520-857,

UNMAS receives US$ 3.5 million for removing 1.9 sq km of hazards in four provinces, with estimation of over 11,370 beneficiaries and employment for 352 persons, conducting nationwide survey and unexploded ordnance (UXO) removal for 1,494 communities, and coordinating mine action activities. Contact: Edwin Faigmane, Senior Programme Officer, +93(0)705966382,

UNHCR is funded US$ 24.25 million for enhancing potential for voluntary return, improving shelter and infrastructure, increasing supply of potable water, improving access to legal assistance, and so forth, for returnees and IDPs in Afghanistan and refugees both in Pakistan and Iran. Contact: Mohammad Nadir Farhad, Spokesperson, +93(0) 791990018,

WFP receives US$ 21 million in total, US$ 20 million for Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) to provide emergency food and nutritional support and US$ 1 million for the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to provide safe and reliable air services to the entire humanitarian community. Contact: Silke Buhr, Head of Communications and Outreach, +93(0)706-004-882,

IOM is funded US$ 9 million for the continuation of Reception and Reintegration Assistance to Vulnerable Returnees from Iran and Pakistan, Support to Detection and Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking and Return Assistance to Qualified Afghans from Iran. Contact: Aanchal Khurana, Spokesperson, +93(0)793-206-076,