|© UNICEF/HQ04-0231/ NICOLE TOUTOUNJI|
|Toshiyuki Niwa, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director|
NEW YORK, 12 January 2005 – The government of Japan has allocated seventy million dollars to UNICEF to assist in the tsunami relief effort.
Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Shuzen Tanigawa announced that his government would donate 250 million dollars to international aid organisations for immediate emergency relief. It is part of Japan’s total aid package of 500 million dollars to tsunami-hit countries.
UNICEF will divide its share among the affected countries according to need.
“I would like to thank the government of Japan for its very generous donation,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Toshiyuki Niwa. “We are delighted that Japan has responded so promptly to the very urgent needs of children affected by the disaster.”
“The tsunami which struck the Indian Ocean region in December is the largest natural disaster in the history of the United Nations and the help of countries such as Japan is essential as UNICEF begins the enormous task of rebuilding millions of lives,” Mr Niwa said.
The Japanese government has also offered to fund half the cost of setting up a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean region, similar to one that is credited with saving thousands of lives around the Pacific Ocean.