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Japan’s support for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Pak/Afghan Development: Firm Commitment for the regional stability

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On the occasion of the “International Conference on 40 years of Hosting Afghan Refugees in Pakistan” from February 17 to 18, 2020 at Islamabad, the Embassy of Japan wishes to share Japan’s support for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Pak/Afghan Development.

Pakistan has been hosting the largest Afghan refugees population in the world in the past four decades. Moreover, Pakistan is playing an important role in the ongoing efforts to achieve a peace settlement in Afghanistan. Understanding Pakistan’s hardship and its geo-political importance in this region, Japan has continuously supported the host communities of Afghan refugees in the northwest region of Pakistan especially in the fields of health, education, and water and sanitation. The total assistance in Pakistan provided through UNHCR amounts to USD 160 million for the past 36 years. People especially in the northwest region of Pakistan have suffered from polio in many years. It is necessary to tackle this problem from both of sides of Pakistan and Afghanistan, aiming for its earliest eradication. Japan has provided approximately USD 229 million to Pakistan for its polio eradication program since 1996.

Stability and reconstruction in Afghanistan is desperately needed for the safety and voluntary return of Afghan refugees. Japan has provided USD 6.7 billion in total since 2001 for various projects in Afghanistan, such as a total of 700 km highway construction and the construction of terminal building and runway of the Kabul International Airport. In addition, a total of 613 students have studied in postgraduate schools in Japan since 2011. In July 2012, Japan hosted “Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan” with the participation of 55 nations and 25 international organizations, which marked a milestone of the international solidarity to support Afghanistan. It is widely known that the late Dr. Nakamura of Peshawar-Kai has greatly supported the people of Afghanistan. His remarkable efforts and contribution are recognized and appreciated by the people of this region and many others. His famous project of greening desert known as “the miracle of Gamberi” becomes a leading model for future assistance in Afghanistan.

Peace in Afghanistan and development in Pakistan is closely linked and affects the stability of the whole region. Japan will continue to support Pakistan in its efforts to attain eternal stability and sustainable development. (END)