Japan gives 1m US dollars for Afghan refugees

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Government of Japan on Thursday in response to the call made by Minister for SAFRON & Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi for helping out the Afghan refugees, has contributed one million US dollars to Pakistan. This is the first international contribution in response to Ministers for SAFRON’s call for helping out the Afghan refugees.
In this regard, Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Mr Kuninori Matsuda called on Minister for SAFRON & Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi here and presented the contribution on behalf of the government and people of Japan. He said that the amount had been paid to the UNHCR and it would be used to help the Afghan refugees. He said the Japanese Government highly appreciates steps taken by Pakistan to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. He said that the Japanese government wants to contribute to Pakistani airports to fight COVID-19.
He said that Pakistan has been hosting Afghan refugees generously for 40 long years. He said that he had of late visited Afghan Refugees Camp in Peshawar and studied how Pakistan is generously hosting Afghans especially the children and streamlined them with Pakistani children. He also said that the Japanese government has been supporting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in economic development and it would like to help the federal government too.
“We appreciate the peace process in Afghanistan and Japanese would like to become a part of development process in KP and Afghanistan,” he added. He said that Japan would also like to collaborate with Pakistan in the field of sports.
Shehryar Afridi expressed gratitude to the government and people of Japan for helping out the Afghan refugees and said that this contribution would go a long way in helping the Afghans affected by lockdown. “We are grateful and expect that this contribution by Japan would send a strong message to the western countries to help the stranded Afghans,” he added.
He said that Japan’s commitment to help the suffering humanity has been exceptional and Japan has always helped people in calamity situations. Japan has led from the front and remembering those who are deprived. 2.8 million Afghan refugees and 32 percent are in camps.
He said that Pakistan has provided equal opportunities to Afghans as enjoyed by our own people and they have been mainstreamed in our society. “We are issuing 60,000 visas to Afghans every month without charging even a single penny beside providing scholarship to 50,000 Afghan students,” the minister added.
He said that Prime Minister on his request had also written to UN Secretary General to provide special assistance to Afghan refugees.
Even amid COVID-19 fight, we are helping the refugees. Why the Prosperous World is not coming to help. 85 percent of Afghans are daily wage earners for their families. We also need to provide them medical equipment for Afghans to help fight COVID-19,” he concluded.