KABUL/TOKYO: Japan will provide $122.2 million in aid to Afghanistan to support humanitarian and development programs in the country, Japan’s Embassy in Kabul stated in a statement on Monday.
The statement added that: “This is a vigorous step forward in realizing Japan’s pledge delivered at the Geneva Conference in November 2020, where Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi affirmed Japan’s long-lasting friendship with and support for the people of Afghanistan and pledged financial assistance up to 180 million per year between 2021 and 2024, a figure comparable to the past four years.” The aid will enable the implementation of 17 humanitarian and development assistance projects orchestrated by various organizations throughout the country aimed at improvement of livelihoods through multiple approaches.
On the occasion, Japan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Okada Takashi said that Japan will contribute their part in the security sector, “Enhanced security sector plays an essential role in the Afghan-led nation-building as we gaze at peace on the horizon. Our continuous contribution to the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) exemplifies Japan’s commitment for a peaceful Afghanistan, as LOTFA is a significant multi-donor program that plays a vital role in strengthening the country’s security sector.”
“We truly hope that this new support will contribute to bringing about as many joyous smiles of Afghan people as possible,” he added.
This new assistance will be implemented by FAO, ICRC, IOM, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Japan Platform (JPF), OCHA, OSCE, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMAS, UNODC, WFP, WHO and World Bank. The funding for UNDP will be fully dispensed for LOTFA where Japan has been serving as one of the top donors since 2008.
Japan’s contribution not only supports the salary payment of the Ministry of Interior personnel but also serves to realize the policewomen’s training program in Turkey.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Japan contributes to the Relief Effort for Afghan Communities and Households (REACH) program by Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) administered by the World Bank, the statement said. With the upcoming disbursement of 122.2 million, the cumulative Japanese assistance to Afghanistan since 2001 will amount to 6.9 billion, according to the statement.
On the other side, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah in his tweet, thank the Japanese government for humanitarian support: “I thank the government & people of Japan for providing 122.2 million USD to support humanitarian & development programs in Afghanistan. We highly value & appreciate Japan’s continued support to the government & people of Afghanistan.”
Japan has provided more than US$5.791 billion of assistance since 200. In July 2012 at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, Japan announced that it would “provide up to around US$3 billion of assistance to Afghanistan in about 5 years from 2012 in the fields of socio-economic development and enhancement of security capacity.”
As of February 2015, a total of US$2.451 billion of assistance has been disbursed. Based on Afghanistan’s development strategy, Japan provided assistance for Afghanistan’s sustainable development focusing on the agricultural sector, infrastructure development and human resource development, as well as education and health/medical care.