Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2005

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2004 > Chapter 2 Details and New Policies about Japan's ODA: Striving for Further ODA Reforms > Section 2. Measures for Each of the Priority Issues > 3. Addressing Global Issues > (6) Disaster Reduction and Post-disaster Reconstruction

(6) Disaster Reduction and Post-disaster Reconstruction

Disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, and droughts occur in various ways around the world almost every year. Large-scale disasters not only claim the lives and properties of many, but they also sometimes cause serious, long-term effects on the overall economic and social systems of the country. In particular, many of the developing countries are vulnerable to disasters, and therefore suffer extremely serious damages. Also, as the poor population often suffer larger damages and end up as disaster refugees, prolonged secondary damages such as the deterioration of sanitary conditions and food shortages have become a major problem.

Utilizing advanced technologies and expertise acquired through past experiences with disasters, Japan has been playing a leading role in the international cooperation on disaster reduction. The major earthquake off the coast of Sumatra and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004 caused unprecedented human and physical damage to the countries in the area. Japan, as a fellow Asian partner, set out to provide assistance to the maximum extent in three ways — financial resources, knowledge and expertise, and human resources. To this end, Japan has provided emergency assistance in kind, dispatched Japan Disaster Relief Teams ( JDRT ), and extended US$500 million in grant aid, among other measures. It has also dispatched personnel to assist in formulating reconstruction plans for the damaged areas and to provide community support. (See 3 of Part II, Chapter 2, Section 1 for more information on the Sumatra disaster.) In January 2005, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction was held under Japan's leadership in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. There were over 4,000 participants from 168 UN member countries and 78 UN and other international organizations. On this occasion, Japan announced its Initiative for Disaster Reduction through ODA, which outlines the basic policies and concrete actions concerning Japan's international cooperation on disaster reduction through ODA. Japan expressed its intent to continue to actively support the self-help efforts of developing countries in building a disaster-resilient society through institution building, human resources development, development of economic and social infrastructure, and other measures. Furthermore, at the Asian-African Summit, which was held in Indonesia in April 2005, Prime Minister Koizumi announced that Japan would be providing more than US$2.5 billion over the next five years in assistance for disaster prevention and mitigation, and reconstruction measures in Asia, Africa, and other regions. The expectations of the international community toward the role of Japan are heightening further.

Regarding assistance related to disaster reduction in FY2004, Japan committed approximately ¥37.4 billion in grant aid, 37 and approximately ¥35.1 billion in yen loans (around 5.4% of all yen loans), the total of which came to approximately ¥72.6 billion. This amount is among the highest in the world. Examined by the type of disaster, earthquakes and tsunami accounted for the highest ratio of 39%, followed by landslides of 33%, and heavy storms and floods of 17%. By region, the largest amount of assistance of 87% was extended to Asia, followed by Africa and the Middle East, each of which received 6%. Regarding disbursements of international emergency assistance, there were 15 teams of JDRT, with a cumulative total of 1,924 members, and 29 provisions of emergency material assistance, the total of which is equivalent to ¥1,535 million.

To provide cooperation in the disaster sector, Japan has also been providing assistance regarding software, such as human resource development, in addition to assistance regarding hardware, such as economic and social infrastructure development. In FY2004, in the area of disaster reduction, Japan dispatched 48 experts and accepted 633 trainees. Specifically, training on disaster prevention administration was provided to administrative officials of the Central Asian countries, such as Kazakhstan, and of the Caucasus countries, such as Georgia. These regions have repeatedly suffered disasters such as landslides and mudslides, and this has been one of the factors inhibiting their development. Furthermore, because such disasters often occur beyond borders, it is necessary to implement broad-based landslide disaster control measures and to share information. However, after the CIS States gained their independence from the Soviet Union, there has been less opportunity for their personnel and information exchanges; thus human resource development has not advanced. Given such factors, JICA worked with the Asian Disaster Reduction Center ( ADRC ) in 2004 to assist these regions in developing human resources that could actively respond to cases of disasters. This was done by providing disaster prevention administration training in Russian to administrative officials and by introducing Japan's landslide disaster control technologies during that training.

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Chart 20. Financial Assistance in the Field of Disaster Prevention and Post-disaster Reconstruction

Chart 20. Financial Assistance in the Field of Disaster Prevention and Post-disaster Reconstruction