Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Through provision of human security as the concept of international cooperation in the 21st century, Japan has been striving to make this century a "human-centered" century.
Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter was revised in August 2003 specifies “human security” as one of the basic policies on ODA. Japan also launched the Medium-Term Policy on ODA in February 2005, which stipulates following approaches to reflect the perspective of "Human Security" on ODA:
1. Assistance that puts people at the center of concerns and that effectively reaches the people;
Source: The Trust Fund for Human Security
- The Framework Featured in ODA Charter＆Mid-Term Policy (Extracts)
Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter (August, 2003)
I. Philosophy: Objectives, Policies, and Priorities
Japan's Medium-Term Policy on ODA (February 2005)
2. Regarding the Perspective of "Human Security"
ii. "Human Security" means focusing on individual people and building societies in which everyone can live with dignity by protecting and empowering individuals and communities that are exposed to actual or potential threats. In concrete terms, this means protecting individuals from "fears," such as conflict, terrorism, crime, human rights violation, displacement, disease epidemics, environmental destruction, economic crises and natural disasters; and "wants," such as poverty, hunger and lack of educational and health services, and empowering people so that they can choose and take action against these threats.
iii. Japan will address the four priority issues of "poverty reduction," "sustainable growth," "addressing global issues" and "peace-building" described in the ODA Charter bearing in mind the perspective of "human security," in order to reduce the vulnerabilities faced by people, communities and countries.
(2) Approaches on Assistance to Achieve "Human Security"
i. Assistance that puts people at the center of concerns and that effectively reaches the people Japan will seek to achieve assistance that effectively reaches the people by accurately identifying the needs of the residents of target areas, and engaging as far as possible in a dialogue with residents and other interested parties throughout the process from policy and project formulation and implementation to monitoring and evaluation. To this end, collaboration and co-ordination with aid-related entities, donor countries, NGOs and others will be pursued.
ii. Assistance to Strengthen Local Communities
iii. Assistance that Emphasizes Empowering of People
iv. Assistance that Emphasizes Benefiting People Who are Exposed to Threats
v. Assistance that Respects Cultural Diversity
vi. Cross-Sectoral Assistance that Mobilizes a Range of Professional Expertise
* Two concrete examples of projects are presented in the appendix to help understand human security. Examples of the "human security" perspective are not limited to those projects. Japan will make an effort to reflect the perspective in its ODA.
3. Priority Issues
- Initiatives & Funding Commitment
"An Intellectual Dialogue on Building Asia's Tomorrow" and "Toward the Creation of a Bright Future for Asia" (December 1998) (Japanese)
The speech at the UN Millennium Summit (September 2000) (Japanese / English)
Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects
Helping Individuals Address their Fears, Problems and Risks in Communities affected by the Chernobyl Disaster
The residents in the areas affected by the nuclear accident of Chernobyl in 1986 are in need of psychological care as a result of the damage to their health and stress they suffered from the forced emigration. Moreover, the affected areas are also facing difficulties in economic recovery in the wake of the downfall of the Soviet Union, and the effects of an aging of the population and depopulation. They are also struggling to overcome poverty.
As part of the project supported by the Japanese Government launched in 2004, the Chernobyl-affected communities were encouraged to establish Community Organizations, draw-up its operational regulations and to collect member's fee from its member residents. Each Community Organization developed their own recovery plans including restoration of schools, health facilities and installment of waterworks to meet residents' needs and implement the project by themselves in cooperation with local government and/or private sectors. The project also supports small and medium size enterprises to further stimulate economic recovery in the affected area.
The project was implemented on the basis of:
Thanks to the project, a number of Community Organizations has been established, which actively carry out the projects. Some organizations have implemented a series of projects to improve the living condition of the communities. The UNTFHS project helped people, who were once victims of the accident and despair, in the affected areas to regain dignity as human beings.
In the meantime, it is required to provide careful support to vulnerable community organizations facing difficulties in implementing their community projects paying more attention to the perspective on “protection” in the concept of human security. Considering these situations, a long-term assistance is necessary to implement in the Chernobyl affected areas including this project.
Discussing process of community and youth center renovation (Photo provided by UNDP)
Receiving medical care in newly renovated and equipped health post (Photo provided by UNDP)
Strengthening human security through sustainable human development in Northwestern Tanzania
The Northwestern Tanzania hosts more than 280,000 refugees from neighbouring countries who have fled from civil wars and are now living with the support of UN agencies. The region is one of the poorest in Tanzania. The long term dwelling of the refugees cause various problems in the host community, such as deforestation, over stretched water resources, decline in the number of wild animals, spread of HIV/AIDS and rising crime levels.
Since 2005 the project has taken a holistic approach to address these concerns and worked to address poverty in the region. For example, the project activities include: collecting small arms, enhancing food productivity, improving access to clean water and sanitation, providing basic education and HIV/AIDS education to out of school youth.
A key feature of this project is the involvement of six (6) UN agencies who are working closely, using their comparative advantages in the implementation of the project. This is regarded by the UN agencies in Tanzania as an outstanding example of interagency cooperation.
Following the achievement of peace in neighbouring countries, refugees are slowly returning home under the support of the United Nations. In implementing this project, it is required to provide well-balanced assistance to refugees and host communities.
Classroom of non-formal education (Photo provided by the Embassy of Japan in Tanzania)
Public Arms Destruction Event in Kigoma, Tanzania (Photo provided by UNDP Tanzania)
- Cooperation with Multilateral Organizations
United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security Pamphlet
Photo from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Handbook (MOFA, 2005)