Tokyo — UNICEF today announced that Japan will make its largest humanitarian contribution to UNICEF in its 67-year history. The government said it would donate US$189.5 million from its supplementary budget for a wide range of programmes in 35 developing countries and territories.
Over 80 per cent of the massive aid package will go toward 29 African countries. The rest, which amounts to US$35.6 million, is earmarked for Afghanistan and five nations and territories in the Middle East, including Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon affected by the Syrian conflict.
"This extraordinary donation from the Japanese government and the people of Japan is a measure of their deep humanity. Their contribution will help transform the lives of millions of children enduring conflict and hardship," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.
"Even when times are tough at home, the generosity of the Japanese is not diminished," he added. "US$189.5 million is not only a very large number. It is polio vaccines, seats in classrooms, anti-retroviral drugs, clean water and so much more. The Japanese people should be very proud of making such a difference."
The humanitarian aid will help finance UNICEF's core programmes such as nutrition, health, education, child protection and water, sanitation and hygiene for the most vulnerable children in fragile countries. For example, US$20 million will allow UNICEF to accelerate its efforts to prevent malaria in 11 African countries.
To date, Japan has given UNICEF in foreign aid a total of US$219.1 million in 2013.