Relief Activities for Iraqi Refugees and Third-Country Persons By Japanese NGOs with Government Support
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) under the Japan Platform (JPF), for whose activities the Japanese government provides financial support, are currently engaged in emergency humanitarian relief activities for Iraqi refugees and third-country persons in northern Iraq and Jordan. The Iraq Crisis Response Team* is working on the Jordan-Iraq border, and Peace Winds Japan is active mainly in the Kurdish autonomous area in northern Iraq. Both of these groups are engaged in assistance activities focusing on medical care.
Approximately 400 million yen (approx. US$ 3.3 million) was disbursed for the above activities from the government funds contributed to JPF.
* The Iraq Crisis Response Team consists of members from the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR), the Humanitarian Medical Assistance (HuMA), and the Telecommunication Humanitarian Aid of Japan, Basic Human Needs Association (BHN).
As of April 24, the Japanese government received the following reports concerning the field activities of these NGOs.
- (a) Iraq Crisis Response Team
- 11 Japanese staff members have been dispatched to Jordan. They are engaged in medical treatment activities at a refugee clinic in the neutral zone along the Jordan-Iraq border and at the Ar Ruwayshid refugee camp. According to the team, by April 24, 1,227 people had entered the neutral zone between the two countries (Jordan and Iraq), and that number is reportedly increasing. A medical team consisting of two Japanese doctors, three Japanese nurses, and Jordanian medical staff members is currently putting its utmost efforts into medical activities in the refugee camp and in the neutral zone. The team has treated about 550 persons in total during the few days since mid-April.
- (b) Peace Winds Japan (PWJ)
- The PWJ has dispatched three Japanese staff members to northern Iraq. They are providing mobile medical treatment services mainly for domestic displaced persons in the Kurdish autonomous area including Al Sulaymaniyah and Dahuk. They are also engaged in medical and other activities in Kirkuk, Mosul, and Baghdad. The total number of displaced persons who have received medical treatment so far reaches more than 10,000 persons.
- Based on the situation in the areas concerned, the Government of Japan will continue to consider possible support measures in collaboration with NGOs for the reconstruction of Iraq.
- Japan Platform (JPF)
The JPF was established in August 2000 with the aim of promoting collaboration and cooperation among NGOs, the business community, and the government to provide speedier and more effective emergency humanitarian relief at times of natural disasters and regional conflicts in other countries. The funds the Japanese government has extended to the JPF amounted to 580 million yen (approx. US$ 4.8 million) in fiscal 2001 and 610 million yen (approx. US$ 5.1 million) in fiscal 2002.
- In Baghdad, local staff of the PWJ are distributing medical and other supplies.
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