Islamabad - The Japanese government will provide $377,920 (approx. Rs38 million) as financial assistance to four Pakistani NGOs, Al-Asar Development Organisation, Iraj Education and Development Foundation, Khadija Zaib Welfare Foundation and Friends Welfare Association for improvement of educational facilities in disadvantaged areas.

According to Japan Embassy, the agreements for the four projects were signed on Thursday at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Islamabad, between Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and the heads of the four organisations.

Al-Asar Development Organisation will utilise its grant of $102,110 for the construction of a girls school in Dera Ghazi Khan and a basic health centre. The grant of $102,470 to the Friends’ Welfare Association will be used for the construction of a girls high school in Mansehra. The grant to Iraj Education and Development Foundation amounting to $75,623 on the other hand will be used for the construction of a girls middle school in Pakpattan. Lastly, a school and vocational training centre for women will be established in Jhelum through the grant of $97,717 to Khadija Zaib Welfare Foundation.

 At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Inomata emphasized the importance of improving access to basic education in this country, particularly for girls. He expressed his hope that the projects agreed on today would contribute to Pakistan’s goal of eliminating regional and gender disparities in terms of educational opportunities and in doing so would certainly strengthen the friendly relations between the people of Japan and Pakistan.

Earlier, agreements for two other projects on education and health were signed in September. Hence, the amount the Government of Japan provided to Pakistani NGOs during the current Japanese Fiscal Year (which starts in April) adds up to $549,840 in total. Moreover, agreements for two more projects, one for road rehabilitation and the other for medical equipment, are scheduled to be signed next week.