Emergencies can occur at any time, and when they do careful planning can make the difference between a successful response and lives lost. This was the principle lesson of the Contingency Planning Workshop organized by the eCentre from 11 to 14 March in Yangon, Myanmar.
Following its successful pilot workshop on International Humanitarian Response in Myanmar in November 2008, the eCentre returned to Yangon at the request of the Myanmar Government to organize specific training on Contingency Planning.
On Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers, his predecessor Sadako Ogata, and Mr. Tetsuro Yano, the Japanese government's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs addressed a crowd of over 350 delegates at the opening of the International Symposium on Refugees in Africa. Among the crowd were Japanese and African government officials, as well as representatives from regional bodies and civil society.
AAR (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) has been engaged in assistance to Angolan refugees in Zambia since 1984. At that time, AAR established a field office in Meheba Refugee Camp (now called Refugee Settlement), North Western Province, Zambia.
The Japanese NGO, Bridge Asia Japan (BAJ)'s 2003 Sri Lanka Program targets internally displaced persons (IDPs), and aims at reconstruction of the Northern areas of Sri Lanka that were devastated in the long civil war.
As an implementing partner of UNHCR, Peace Winds Japan has undertaken a reintegration and repatriation program which aids the return of refugees to villages in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
JEN (Japan Emergency NGOs) began working in Eritrea in 2002. There they work mainly help Eritreans who were refugees in Sudan but have since returned to their home country with the help of a voluntary repatriation programme.