The Japanese government has donated USD 1.5 million meant to support the Zambian government and the United Nations Refugee Agency’s 2015 refugee and local integration programmes in Zambia.
And Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila has expressed gratitude to the Japanese government for their generous support towards the local integration of refugees in Zambia.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Mwila said this in Lusaka during the event for the project of protection and assistance to refuges in the country.
Mr. Mwila described the donation as a clear commitment on the part of the Japanese government to contribute to the efforts of government in improving the general living conditions of not only refugees and former refugees, but also of the local population in refugee hosting areas.
Mr. Mwila urged other donor countries to emulate the well-meaning gesture demonstrated by the Japanese government by supporting various programmes targeting refugees, former refugees and the host communities.
He also assured the international community of government’s accountability in the effective use of donated funds.
Mr. Mwila said government was grateful for the support it continued to receive from the cooperating partners such as the Government of Japan.
He explained that only a true and long term partnership between the government and the international community would ensure that the local integration programme in Zambia brings the expected dividends to both the former refugees and Zambians.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Koishi Koinuma commended the Zambian Government for the exemplary hospitality to refugees over the years and particularly for offering to locally integrate 10,000 former Angolan refugees.
Ambassador Koinuma said his government was pleased to be associated with efforts to find durable solutions to protracted refugee situations and to enhance the quality of life of refugees, former refugees, and the host Zambian community.
And UNHCR Officer-in-Charge in Zambia, Peter Janssen, described the Japanese contribution as a clear indication of the Japanese Government’s strong and consistent support to the refugee program in Zambia and to durable solutions in particular.
Mr. Jansen said the government of Japan had in fact been supporting UNHCR work in Zambia consistently since 2013 and that most projects in villages surrounding the refugee settlements had been funded from the Japanese contributions.
“We are extremely grateful for the support we get from our donors and in particular for the support received from the Government and people of Japan,” said Mr. Janssen.
“I wish to assure the Japanese Government that we will always do our utmost best to ensure optimum utilization of these resources destined to current and former refugees and the host population”, he said.