The Japanese Government approved a major package of funding totalling 9 million US dollars to support UNESCO’s action in crisis and transition situations in the Middle East as well as flood risk management in Pakistan.
Three projects have been approved to benefit Iraq, responding to the gaps in secondary schooling for girls of IDP communities (USD 2 million), expanding secondary education for Syrian refugees in Iraq (USD 1 million), and addressing the need for preventive conservation of Iraq’s museum collections and cultural heritage sites at imminent risk (USD 1.5 million).
An amount of USD 0.5 million will also be made available for a multi-country project to support capacity development for managing natural disaster risks of flash floods in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan and Sudan.
The Japanese Government also approved the grant of approximately USD 4 million to support flood warning and management capacity in Pakistan.
The new grant builds on the successful implementation by UNESCO of the first phase of the project also generously supported by Japan. The corresponding agreement was signed in Pakistan on 10 March between His Excellency Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Ms Vibeke Jensen, Head of the UNESCO Islamabad Office.
Ambassador Kenjiro Monji, Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO, said that the projects in the Middle East form an integral part of Japan’s renewed contribution toward the stability and prosperity of the region, announced by Prime Minister Abe during his recent visit to the region.
“I am particularly pleased to note that my Government has decided to fund UNESCO’s project in favour of the Baghdad National Museum, following our collective commitment at the last Executive Board to protect the cultural heritage of Iraq against cultural cleansing”, he said.
Ambassador Monji also emphasized that Japan is strongly committed to working hand in hand with UNESCO in the area of disaster risk reduction, where they both possess shared experience and profound expertise.
On behalf of UNESCO, Irina Bokova expressed her deep gratitude to the Government of Japan for its firm commitment to support UNESCO’s response to crisis and transition situations, including disaster risk reduction in fragile countries.
“This support reflects the strong leadership of Japan in strengthening UNESCO’s action in situations of crisis and transition – this is where UNESCO is so highly in demand and where our action can help lay strong foundations for normalization, reconciliation, for lasting peace and sustainable development, and this is why I am so deeply grateful to Japan for this support,” declared the Director-General.