Emergency Grant Assistance to Afghanistan for Ogata Initiative (Regional Comprehensive Development Assistance Programme) Phase IV

March 23, 2004

  1. The Government of Japan decided on March 19 (Fri) to extend emergency grant assistance of about $8.7 million (about 1,060 million yen) in total to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the Phase IV of Ogata Initiative, a Regional Comprehensive Development Assistance Programme.

  2. Because of the worsening security situation and other factors, the peace process in Afghanistan is now at a critical stage as the election for the launch of a permanent administration scheduled for June this year draws near. In this situation, it is an urgent need to further promote the support of the Afghan people for the peace process by expanding regional development assistance.

    The Ogata Initiative, a Regional Comprehensive Development Assistance Programme, launched in August 2002 based on the proposal listed in the report when Mrs. Sadako Ogata, the Prime Minister's Special Representative, visited Afghanistan, is highly appreciated by the Transitional Administration of Afghanistan and the officials concerned in the United Nations, as it enables a seamless transition from humanitarian to reconstruction and development assistance and from a viewpoint of resettlement of refugees and internally-displaced persons in regional areas, capacity strengthening and long-term development of the rural communities that accept them.

    To enhance the quality and integrity of regional comprehensive development assistance, the Ogata Initiative Phase IV formulated projects to support Kapisa Province near Kabul, in addition to Kandahar in the south, Mazar-e-Sharif in the north and Jalalabad in the east, through consultations conducted both in Kabul and regional areas with the ministries and agencies concerned in the central and regional governments and the related organizations of the United Nations. Specifically, the UNHCR will engage in improving the supply of water, irrigation, road construction (income generation) and vocational training in the areas where returnees repatriate; the UNICEF will provide training for teachers, regional-driven educational infrastructure improvement, improvement of potable water and public hygiene in schools and in the community and rehabilitation of child soldiers; and before all these projects, the Initiative will clear land mines in the designated areas.

  3. To realize the "consolidation of peace" in Afghanistan, Japan has extended support totaling $600 million in every field including the political process, security improvement and reconstruction. Japan has decided to provide this emergency grant aid in consideration of the significance of regional comprehensive development in the peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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