Government of Japan donates $2 million for children in Central Asia
Government of Japan donates $2 million to UNICEF to get children out of orphanages and other institutions in Central Asia
TOKYO / GENEVA / NEW YORK – Tuesday, 31 August – The Government of Japan is donating more than US$ 2 million to UNICEF to get children out of orphanages and other residential institutions across Central Asia. The announcement coincides with a tour of Central Asia by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, which ended today.
The funds, from the Japanese Trust Fund for Human Security, will go to the UNICEF supported-project: “Every Child Has a Right to Grow up in a Family Environment”, aiming to turn back the tide of children going into institutions in these countries. The Soviet legacy of state care for children in difficulties, coupled with rising poverty, means that around 200,000 children are growing up in long-term residential care across the region – almost 84,000 of them in Kazakhstan alone. The major stumbling block to getting them out of institutions and back into a family environment is the lack of alternatives, with few social workers or services to help families in difficulties, few regulations on domestic adoption, fostering and guardianship, and the absence of proper norms and standards on child protection. Meanwhile, new children’s homes are still being opened.
“This contribution will help to create a child protection system that focuses on the best interests of individual children and families,” said Juan Aguilar, UNICEF Area Representative for Central Asia.
“Our goal is to help families in difficult situations stay together, without feeling compelled to consign their children to long-term institutional care. And, in cases where children are separated from their parents, we aim to provide alternatives that take a family-based approach, such as guardianship, foster care and domestic adoption. Above all, we must protect the right of every child to grow up in a family environment.”
For further information, please contact: