ISLAMABAD: The Government of Japan today announced a total contribution of US$ 16 million to UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) and UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) agencies in Pakistan.
That includes a total of US$ 13 million to support Returnees in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and US$3 million to support Afghan Refugees.
The Government of Japan allocated a total of US$ 4 million to UNHCR to support its refugee programme and access to protection assistance to returnees in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The largest portion of this contribution, US$ 3 million will be spent on the improvement access to education, livelihoods and vocational training opportunities, targeting youth, and health sector, and in addition US$ one million will be allocated to support the returnees in FATA return areas with protection assistance.
The UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Mr. Indrika Ratwatte while lauding the continuous support by the government and people of Japan said the contribution is very important for UNHCR operations in Pakistan as it will help bolster UNHCR’s interventions in different areas.
“This funding will allow UNHCR to continue assisting the most vulnerable Afghan refugees by improving the condition of schools, enabling more refugee children to attend school and to have access to better healthcare facilities while they are in Pakistan,” he said adding the funding will also allow UNHCR to extend protection assistance to the returnee families.
The Government of Japan is the second largest donors to UNHCR programmes worldwide, supported the implementation of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees and established the Peace Building Grant Aid in 2002.
Last year, the Government of Japan has provided a total of US$ 5 million, of which US$ 2.75 to UNHCR for protection and assistance activities for Afghan refugees and US$ 1.7 million to support Internally Displaced Persons in FATA in Pakistan. Pakistan has been home to millions of Afghans for more than 35 years and continues to host the world’s largest protracted refugee population.Some 3.9 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan since 2002, including more than 58,000 in 2015.