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Japan announces grant of $1m to UNHCR in Jordan

By JT - Feb 19,2020 - Last updated at Feb 19,2020

UNHCR Representative in Jordan Dominik Bartsch (left) and Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Hidenao Yanagi (Photo courtesy of UNHCR)

AMMAN — Building upon its long-term support to Syrian refugees in Jordan, the Government of Japan has announced that it will grant an additional $1 million to the UNHCR in 2020, a UNHCR statement said on Wednesday. 

According to the statement, the funding will be allocated towards facilitating activities within community centres in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, allowing refugees living within the camps to continue accessing vocational and skills-based training in safe spaces where they can play sports and meet with friends.

As the Syrian crisis marks its ninth anniversary, ongoing displacement leaves refugees at risk of feeling isolated, without the support of a community, the statement read, adding that mental health concerns are becoming increasingly common as families struggle to meet their basic needs. 

A strong community support structure is essential in helping vulnerable families cope with daily challenges, it said, noting that for the last few years, Japan’s support to refugees has been critical in enabling UNHCR to run its network of community centres in refugee camps.

In response to Japan’s contribution, UNHCR Representative in Jordan Dominik Bartsch said: "The value of a safe space, where refugees of all ages can learn, express their creativity and be an active member of the community is paramount." 

"Japan’s long-standing commitment to our community centres in Zaatari and Azraq has allowed UNHCR to better understand refugees’ needs by providing in-depth protection counselling, mental and emotional welfare support and services,” he noted.

Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Hidenao Yanagi was quoted in the statement as saying: "Japan highly appreciates the generosity and readiness of the government and people of Jordan in receiving massive numbers of refugees." 

The ambassador also stressed Japan's ongoing support of the UNHCR's "important role" in providing various services such as protection and healthcare as well as livelihood trainings to Syrian refugees in Jordan since the onset of the crisis, the statement said. 

"Today, we renew our commitment to assist vulnerable refugees in the camps in order to ensure their dignity,” the envoy said.

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