The Government of Japan has announced a contribution of US$1 million (One Million United States Dollars) to UNHCR’s 2018 operations in Zambia.
Japan’s Ambassador to Zambia, H.E. Hidenobu Sobashima, made the announcement when he visited Mayukwayukwa Resettlement Scheme, under the local integration programme, in Western Province’s Kaoma District on Thursday 1st March 2018.
Ambassador Sobashima, accompanied by his embassy staff, the Mayukwayukwa Refugee Officer under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Provincial Resettlement Officer under the Office of the Vice President, UNHCR, other humanitarian partners and the press, praised the Government of Zambia for its outstanding record in hosting refugees and former refugees.
“We admire the Government for accepting refugees and former refugees from many countries. What is particular is that the Government is implementing a unique programme of local integration. As Japan we are providing US$1 million to UNHCR in 2018 and we hope the money will be utilized for the most needy areas,” explained Ambassador Sobashima.
Since 2012, Japan has contributed almost US$11.3 million to UNHCR operations in Zambia, including US$2 million – during the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year – that went to UNHCR and local integration projects supported by other UN agencies in Meheba and Mayukwayukwa Ambassador Sobashima
Among other things, the Japanese envoy toured projects in the local integration resettlement scheme funded by his Government and met with new permanent residents (former refugees) and Zambians.
The Government of Japan, with other donors, have funded various infrastructure projects in Mayukwayukwa and Meheba local integration scheme. Currently, the socio-economic component of the local integration programme is under the Department of Resettlement and UN development agencies, such as UNDP, FAO, UNICEF and many others, while the legal pillar is under UNHCR and the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In Mayukwayukwa, the Japanese Ambassador, among other projects, toured Jacob Mphepo Primary School and Dr. Dominic Minyoi Health Post, projects solely funded by his country and named after two deceased senior Government of Zambia staff that pioneered the local integration programme in Zambia. Other projects visited where Shibanga Primary School and Shibanga Rural Health Centre.
During the visit, Ambassador Sobashima said the facilities in the local integration scheme in Mayukwayukwa will be key to improving the lives of the new permanent residents and Zambians.
UNHCR Public Information Assiciate, Mr. Kelvin Shimoh, who was part of the UNHCR team accompanying the Ambassador Sobashima to Mayukwayukwa, described Japan as an-all-weather friend that has consistently provided funding to UNHCR’s operations.
Meanwhile, the US Ambassador was on a familiarization tour of Kenani on Wednesday 28 February 2018, during which he met with refugees and visited various projects at the transit centre.
The US and Japan are the biggest contributors to UNHCR’s global budget, but with frequent ear-marked funding to the Zambia refugee operation.
Several ambassadors, especially from donor countries, have recently visited Kenani and Mantapala to familiarize themselves with the Congolese emergency response.