Emergency Aid for Afghan Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons

March 21, 2001

  1. On March 21 (Wed), the Government of Japan decided to extend emergency grant aid of 1,860,000 dollars (195,300,000 yen) in total to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations agencies to alleviate the plight of Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons.

  2. The war and conflicts which have been continuing in Afghanistan over 20 years since the coup d'etat of 1979 has produced large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons. The drought of unprecedented scale in recent years has increased the number of such people. It is reported that the consequent material and food shortages, and also the cold spell which has continued since the end of last year, have rapidly worsened conditions in Afghanistan and in refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, even causing some deaths. In view of such situations, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched a consolidated appeal totaling 253 million dollars, and the ICRC has also issued an emergency appeal, requesting support from the international community. Japan decided to provide the assistance in response to those appeals from a humanitarian viewpoint.

  3. In addition to the emergency grant aid, the Government of Japan has already decided to extend through the WFP grant assistance equivalent to 538 million yen to purchase wheat. This aid will make the total amount of assistance to 733,300,000 yen, assistance to improve the situation of Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons in Afghanistan.

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