Japan gives $1.3m for refugee children in Rwanda

The Japanese government has reached an agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide $1.3 million (about Rwf890 million) for the refugee children in the country.

The Japanese government has reached an agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide $1.3 million (about Rwf890 million) for the refugee children in the country.

The money would be used to increase access to basic social services, including child protection, early childhood development and education.

The project will be undertaken under the leadership of the Government of Rwanda in close coordination with UNHCR and partners, UNICEF said in a statement.

“Rwanda values its partnership with Japan and appreciates the support to critical services established to respond to the needs of the refugee population, children in particular under the coordination of UNICEF, UNHCR and partners,” Séraphine Mukantabana, Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, said.

“This is another opportunity to respond to key protection challenges such as creating a safe environment for children, ensuring access to early childhood care and development, education and continued integration of children and families into social life.”

Building on Japan’s earlier support in 2013 in the areas of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, early childhood development and education, the grant is expected to further improve the situation of children in the camps.

“This grant will make a significant difference in the lives of children in the three refugee camps of Nyamagabe, Mugombwa and Nyabiheke. We thank the people of Japan for their generous contribution,” said Noala Skinner, the UNICEF country representative.

In child protection, the project will focus on the two newly established camps enhancing protection of more than 5,000 refugee children, including adolescent girls in Kigeme and Mugombwa.

This will be complemented by all school-aged children enjoying improved quality education and a new early childhood development facility in Nyabiheke refugee camp in Gatsibo District.

“I believe that increased access to protection, early cognitive stimulation and education will enhance the overall development of refugee children,” Japanese ambassador to Rwanda Kazuya Ogawa said.

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