Grant Aid for the Earthquake Risk Reduction and Recovery Preparedness Programme for South Asian Region

March 17, 2007

 
1.   The Government of Japan has decided to provide a total of 584 million yen of grant assistance for disaster prevention and disaster reconstruction, with a view to contributing to the “Earthquake Risk Reduction and Recovery Preparedness Programme for South Asian Region” through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  Notes to this effect were exchanged on March 17 (Sat) (local time: 16th (Fri)) in New York between Mr. Kenzo Oshima, Ambassador to the Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, and Mr. John Ohiorhenuan, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Senior Deputy Director, Bureau for Crisis and Prevention and Recovery, UNDP).

2.
 (1)  In Asia where natural disasters often occur, South Asian region is particularly one of the most natural-disaster-prone regions, such as to tsunami in the Indian Sea in 2004 and the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005.  The number of victims by the natural disasters (deaths and injuries) as well as economic damage are so great that they are giving major damage on the development efforts within the region.

 (2)  Among the natural disasters that are becoming threats to the countries in the South Asian region, earthquakes occurring in various places in recent years are resulting in huge damages.  In the past earthquakes, lack of quake-proof public buildings, such as compulsory educational institutions, resulted in many victims and hindered earthquake relief activities immediately after they occurred.  Taking into account such experiences and lessons, it is important to improve the capacity of communities, provinces, countries and regions to deal with earthquake disaster, promote works centered on quake-proof public buildings, reduce disaster in the event it occurred, by using Japan’s knowledge on disaster prevention and the networks and know-how developed by the UN-related organizations.  The creation of safe and assured community and region that enable appropriate and fast proceeding of recovery activities is also sought, and it is included in the “Hyogo Framework for Action” at the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in January 2005.
   In such a situation, the UNDP, the leading agency of the International Recovery Platform (IRP, Office: Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture), established by the initiative of Japan, requested grant aid from Japan while cooperating on this programme to reduce the degree of damage and quickly restore earthquake damage by promoting quake-proof capacity of buildings, taking into consideration the strengthened capability in the field of disaster prevention of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for the South Asian region, including India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan.     

3.   The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), IRP’s constituting institution in Japan, (Office: Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture) will provide technical support to implement the project.  It is expected that Japan’s knowledge on and experiences of seismic hazard will be fully used.

4.   This assistance will be implemented as part of measures for disaster prevention and reconstruction assistance (more than 2,500 million dollars over the next five years mainly for the Asia and African region) that Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, former Prime Minister of Japan, pledged in the Asian-African Summit, which was held in Indonesia in April 2005.  This is the first assistance through an international organization as a grant aid for disaster prevention and reconstruction, which was established in JFY2006.

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