March 17, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Japanese government has announced it will contribute $37.7 million to the United Nations and other international organisations to help consolidate peace efforts in conflict-affected areas in Sudan.
The contribution will be drawn from Japan’s 2012 supplementary budget and is expected to provide emergency assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and returnees.
A number of international organisations will benefit from the contribution, with the largest chunk going to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), which will receive $15 million to fund its programmes for the protection and assistance of refugees, displaced people, returnees and persons at risk of statelessness in Sudan.
Other beneficiaries include UNICEF, which will receive $8 million for its assistance programs for displaced persons and other vulnerable populations in conflict-affected communities, as well as initiatives aimed at reducing malaria morbidity in Sudan, while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will receive $6 million for humanitarian aid and the World Food Programme (WFP) $5 million for humanitarian air services.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will also receive $2.7 million for its humanitarian interventions and peace efforts in Abyei and South Kordofan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) $1 million to support displaced people, returnees and their communities.
In a statement issued by its embassy in Khartoum and extended to Sudan Tribune, the Japanese government said that achieving peace and stability in Sudan is not only an issue for the people of Sudan, but a common concern for the international community, adding it was also an important factor in the regional prosperity and development of Africa as a whole.
Japan currently provides bilateral development assistance in coordination with its official governmental agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the fields of agriculture, water and sanitation, health care, vocational training and capacity development, as well as grant assistance for grassroots initiatives, the statement said.
Such projects are also contributing to mitigate the tension in conflict-affected areas in Sudan, the statement continues, citing the examples of Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Eastern Sudan, where JICA has been implementing various projects in the areas of water supply, maternal and child health, and vocational training since 2009.
“Japan has strongly committed to make every effort to accelerate consolidation of peace and stability in Sudan by bilateral development assistance through JICA”, the statement said.
The Japanese government says its latest contribution is in addition to the bilateral assistance it already provides and represents a continuation of its ongoing multilateral support in response to the emergency needs of displaced people, refugees and returnees.