• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

The Government of Japan announces support in response to urgent humanitarian needs


Dec 22, 2022

BUJUBURA December 22nd (ABP) – The Government of Japan, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), have issued on December 20, 2022, a joint press release in which Japan announces its support for assistance to Burundian returnees, local people with high food insecurity, and epidemic preparedness and response in Burundi, via UNHCR, WFP and WHO.

Indeed, as stated in that press release, through Japan’s supplementary budget, the UNHCR will be supported with an amount of 2.4 million US dollars for emergency response operations for returnees. WFP humanitarian food assistance operations favor 26,000 internally displaced persons and the extremely food insecure people affected by the combined effects of climatic and socio-economic shocks, with 2.4 million US dollars and an amount of 1 million US dollars for WHO operations, in response to epidemics.

It is also indicated that the financial contribution of the Japanese people will support an integrated response through programs that meet the urgent humanitarian needs of people whose lives are currently in danger in Burundi.

According to Abdul Karim Ghoul, UNHCR representative in Burundi, UNHCR is grateful to the Japanese people for their continued and longstanding support. The project will ensure the safe and dignified repatriation of thousands of Burundian refugees and provide them with a return package as a first step in their reintegration. However, for voluntary returns to be a truly durable solution, UNHCR calls on development actors to increase their investments in the development of return areas in order to create favorable conditions for the sustainable reintegration of returnees.

As for Housainou TAAL, WFP representative in Burundi, he said that the combined effects of weather variations and socio-economic shocks have caused damage to agricultural production and caused a sudden surge in the prices of basic food products, aggravating the already acute food insecurity situation in the country. Thanks to the contribution of government of Japan, WFP will provide life-saving assistance to the food-insecure local people, while building community resilience through capacity building in income-generating activities, food storage and food quality management.

For the WHO representative in Burundi, Dr Xavier CRESPIN, the WHO says thank you to the Japanese government for its continued support in improving the people’s access to quality maternal and neonatal health services. This grant comes at the right time to meet the acute needs of vulnerable people and reduce the risk of epidemics, thanks to better preparedness and rapid response to health shocks and emergencies.

The interim Chargé d’Affaires at the Japanese Embassy in Burundi, YUKAKO OCHI, also said that the rise in global prices, the challenges of climate change and other prevailing epidemics, particularly affect vulnerable people. She added that Japan’s contribution will not only provide support, but also advance the “Tunis Statement” and the announcements made by Japanese Prime Minister Mr. KISHIDA at TICAD8. Japan is very grateful for the initiatives taken by the Government of Burundi, UNHCR, WFP and WHO to meet urgent humanitarian needs, and expressed the wish to continue working with them.