Preparatory Mission for Dispatch of a Medical Team of Civilian Experts for Iraqi Refugee Aid

March 27, 2003

  1. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has requested Japan to consider the dispatch of a medical team to refugee camps in Syria. Considering that prompt cooperation with the refugee assistance conducted by the UNHCR will be appropriate as Japan's contribution to the international community from a humanitarian point of view, the Government of Japan is dispatching a preparatory study mission that includes doctors, headed by Mr. Yuichi Koido, M.D., Manager, Advanced Unit of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Nippon Medical University, to Syria on March 28, to study on the possibility of dispatching a medical team of civilian experts consisting of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, support staff and others.

  2. Some Iraqi and other people have actually begun to flee from the conflict. It is feared that a large number of people will start moving, as in the initial prediction of the UNHCR which estimates the number of refugees to neighboring countries at 600,000. Against this background, the UNHCR has started international humanitarian relief activities in Syria and other neighboring countries.

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