ISLAMABAD - Japan has announced its contribution of $10.6 million to fight malnutrition, improve livelihoods and increase resilience to natural disasters in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

The government of Japan Tuesday signed partnership in this regard with the UNDP and the World Food Programme (WFP) here. Out of the total $10.6 million, $3.5 million will be used towards the early identification and treatment of 155,000 acutely malnourished mothers and children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including families who have been displaced from Afghanistan and vulnerable host populations.

“WFP is extremely grateful for the continued partnership and generosity of the Japanese government in providing emergency life-saving nutritional support for malnourished mothers and children. We are proud to be working together to support some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable families,” said WFP Representative Finbarr Curran.

The Japanese contribution also includes $3.55 million towards UNDP’s Stabilization through Inclusive Livelihoods initiative in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is being implemented in close collaboration with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the erstwhile FATA Secretariat. It will support 20,700 people by improving their access to basic services, enhancing their economic opportunities and improving social cohesion in Kurram and Orakzai tribal districts.

In addition, the Japanese government will support the government of Pakistan at national and local levels to prepare for natural disasters, pilot tsunami early warning systems, and enhance resilience of coastal communities to coastal hazards with a specific focus on women and children. Implemented in Malir and Karachi West districts of Sindh and Gwadar district of Balochistan province, this project will benefit 15,000 people.

The project is being implemented by UNDP in partnership with the National Disaster Management Authority, Provincial DMAs of Sindh and Balochistan, Pakistan Meteorological Department, district administrations of Karachi (Malir and West Karachi) and Gwadar, and other technical and community-based organizations working in the coastal areas.

“Empowering vulnerable local communities and enhancing their resilience to withstand crises requires coordinated efforts by all stakeholders. The generous support provided by the Government of Japan will be an important step towards helping improve livelihoods of the people returning to the Tribal Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and will complement efforts to support successful implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan,” said Ignacio Artaza, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Pakistan.

“Through these fundings for Afghan refugees and their hosting communities, and the people in the newly merged districts of KP, we would like to show our message to the people that Japan continues its support for the stabilization of their life.

 By sharing experiences of natural disasters in Japan, we secure our cooperation to share efficient monitoring and warning systems for earthquake and tsunami through UNDP’s policy and instructive support,” said the Japanese Ambassador Designate Kuninori Matsuda.

“These projects reflect the continued efforts of the United Nations system in Pakistan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We appreciate the support of the government of Japan and the cooperation of UNDP and WFP for these interventions that will help support development for the people of Pakistan,” said Zulfiqar Haider, Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs Division.

“This initiative is a welcome step to enhance the capability of the government of Pakistan to tackle crises. The United Nations is a trusted partner of NDMA and we hope to continue this partnership to work with communities to enhance their resilience with support from the Government of Japan,” said Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat, Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).