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Humanitarian cooperation

14 Nov 2019

Japanese embassy to continue helping Belarus recover from Chernobyl catastrophe

Japanese embassy to continue helping Belarus recover from Chernobyl catastrophe

VITEBSK, 14 November (BelTA) – The Japanese embassy will continue implementing humanitarian projects as part of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Program in order to support Belarus residents in their efforts to overcome consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, BelTA learned from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Belarus Hiroki Tokunaga.

The program has been in progress in Belarus since 2004. It is designed to help people affected by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. Most of the projects focus on healthcare. A solemn ceremony took place in Vitebsk on 14 November to hand over a special minibus to the Vitebsk District Social Services Center. The region is home to over 1,600 people with disabilities, including 109 kids. The minibus has a lift for wheelchair users while passenger seats have been configured to suit people with disabilities.

“The project to buy and gift the minibus to the Vitebsk District Social Services Center is the Japanese government’s program’s first project that focuses on social sphere. People with reduced capabilities need not only body treatment but soul treatment as well. The vehicle is particularly important because these people will be able to use it to go not only to the clinic but to cultural events in the city,” the diplomat noted. “The embassy will continue implementing the program’s projects in order to support residents of Belarus and help them deal with the accident. We are always open to considering proposals from all regions,” Hiroki Tokunaga said.

Head of the Vitebsk Oblast Office of the Humanitarian Activities Department of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate Aleksandr Karalev thanked the Japanese side for effective cooperation. “The department would like to note a considerable contribution and the dedication of the Japanese embassy to implementing socially important humanitarian projects to Belarus. The GGP Program adds a special impulse to this cooperation,” he added.

Only healthcare institutions received aid as part of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Program till 2019. An educational institution and a social service institution have been granted assistance this time. So far over 40 grant contracts have been implemented, with the necessary medical equipment granted to over 200 healthcare institutions in all parts of Belarus. A total of over 50 projects worth over $4 million will be implemented taking into account the new documents signed in early November.

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