Special Announcement by the Press Secretary (March 23)

23 March 2003

Ms. Yoriko KAWAGUCHI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, announced Japan's assistance measures in response to the situation in Iraq on at 17:00 hours 23 March 2003.

The announcement is as follows.

The Government of Japan (GOJ), in accordance with the Action Guidelines on the Situation in Iraq which was announced on 20 March, decided on 23 March to provide approximately US$ 104.2 million in total for the stability of the Middle-East to improve humanitarian conditions, namely:
a) grant assistance in the amount of US$ 100 Million to Jordan, to alleviate the enormous economic impact that will arise from the situation in Iraq; and
b) food assistance in the amount of approximately US$ 4.2million (500 million yen) to the Palestine Autonomous region through UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

The above measures are in addition to the emergency humanitarian assistance announced on 20 March, namely:
a) US$ 5.03million (approximately 600million yen) through UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR,(*);
b) approximately US$ 3.3million (400 million yen) through Japanese NGOs; and
c) dispatch of JICA personnel to provide technical cooperation to enhance emergency medical response system, for which five experts have already been dispatched to Syria.

In response to journalists' questions, Minister Kawaguchi made the following remarks:

- Minister Kawaguchi will inform Dr. Marwan Al MUASHER, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jordan and Dr. Nabil SHA'ATH, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of the Palestinian Interim Authority (PA) shortly.
- Half (6 billion yen) of the grant assistance to Jordan will be non-project-type grant assistance, and the other half (approximately 6 billion yen) will consist of general-project-type grant assistance and grant assistance for grassroots/human security projects.
- The GOJ is also considering under International Peace Cooperation Law dispatch of civilian medical teams and transportation of humanitarian relief materials by Self Defence Force aircraft.
- The GOJ will consider additional measures to respond to official UN appeals once they are issued.
- Minister Kawaguchi regarded it desirable that the United Nations adopt a resolution for rehabilitation and reconstruction of Iraq and that Japan is making and will continue to make diplomatic efforts for that purpose.

* Total: US$ 5,031,451
UNHCR US$ 2,860,345, for transport, water, sanitation, and health
UNICEF US$ 645,640, for water, sanitation, education, materials to help children (blanket, plastic sheet)
WFP: US$ 1,525,466 for food

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