(1) In South Sudan, despite the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which brought an end to the 21-year-long conflict, approximately 260,000 Sudanese refugees still remain displaced outside the country.
(2) The number of returnees to South Sudan is anticipated to soar shortly. At least 80,000 refugees are anticipated to return within a year following the end of the rainy season in November. The anticipated general election in 2009, including the presidential election, will further accelerate the number of returnees. As a result, there is a concern that rapid deterioration of sanitary conditions in the region might cause outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, leading to a critical situation from a humanitarian perspective.
(3) If the number of returnees rapidly increases, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), conducting international humanitarian relief operations in the region, will face difficulties in sufficient provision of safe water at medical facilities it supports.
(4) Given the above, on October16, 2008, UNHCR requested to the Government of Japan (GOJ), on an emergency basis, for provision of the 60 portable-type high-quality water purifiers and 60 spare filters to be used at 9 medical facilities where returnees seek treatment. In response to this request, the GOJ decided to provide the requested relief items, from a perspective that it is essential to strongly support the peace consolidation, including improvement of humanitarian situation, in Sudan, which is critical for the peace and stability of Africa as a whole.
2. Relief Items
Under Article 25(1) of the Law Concerning Cooperation for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations (the International Peace Cooperation Law), the GOJ will make a cabinet meeting decision on Friday, October 28, 2008, to provide the 60 water purifiers and 60 spare filters, equivalent of 9,770,000 JPY or 104,663 USD at the rate on 10/28/08, to UNHCR from the stockpile of the Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarter, Cabinet Office.
3. Following the cabinet meeting, a ceremony will be held to hand over the items at the UNHCR office in Juba, Sudan, at 2:00pm on Thursday, November 6, 2008, in local time (9:00 pm in JST) in the presence of officials concerned. The photos of the ceremony will be available in Tokyo on the same day.
If you need photos of the ceremony and further information, please contact:
Shiro Suzuki, Director
Satoshi Kinoshita, Deputy Director
Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
Ph: +81-3-3581-7343 (Direct)
Contact e-mail address: email@example.com