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Rwanda, 7 March 2017: Government of Japan provides USD 636,000 to UNICEF for continuous care of Burundian refugee children

KIGALI, Rwanda, 7 March 2017 – The Government of Japan has provided the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) USD 636,000 to expand refugee children’s access to essential services in Mahama Camp, including child protection, early childhood development and education. These programmes will be implemented under the leadership of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) in close coordination with UNHCR and partners.

“Reinforcing these programmes will make a significant difference in the lives of children in Mahama Camp and in the host communities. This holistic approach ensures that young children are cared for in a nurturing environment, have the knowledge to stay healthy and safe, and have access to quality education. We are very thankful to the the people of Japan for their continued generosity,” said Ted Maly, UNICEF Representative.

Previous contributions of the Government of Japan have supported refugee children in Rwanda affected by other humanitarian crises, with a focus on child protection, health, sanitation and hygiene, early childhood development and education. Funding from the Government of Japan to UNICEF provided psychosocial support to more than 8,000 children and their families to prevent and respond to violence, family separation, exploitation, and abuse.

“I am happy that I can go to school every day knowing that my siblings are safe and have food,” said Jeanine, a 17-year-old refugee from DRC. “We were worried about our future, but now we have no despair.”

The new funds from The Government of Japan will continue to focus on critical needs of Burundian refugees in Mahama Camp. “When children are protected, have access to early learning and quality education, they have a better chance at optimal development. We are proud to cooperate with the UNICEF to ensure refugee children not to miss opportunities for a good start in life,” concluded H.E. Mr. Takayuki Miyashita, the Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda.

The funds will cover a period of one year, reaching 50,000 Burundian refugees in Mahama Camp and 3,000 beneficiaries from the host communities.


Notes to the Editor

The support will be provided to critical programme areas:

  • Child protection, where gender equality will be mainstreamed to address the fact that gender-based discrimination creates differing obstacles for girls’, boys’, men’s and women’s equals right to identity.
  • Health promotion through Communication for Development activities, with a focus on disadvantaged families, including female-headed households.
  • Early Childhood Development, by encouraging male involvement in child care, learning support and overall development as a part of the positive parenting programme.
  • Education, to ensure a management system that responds to both boys and girls, and ensures equal numbers are participating in the system, while working towards mitigating dropout and repetition rates.

About the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda
The Embassy of Japan in Rwanda was opened in 2010 to further their diplomatic relations with Rwanda. Prior to that, bilateral relations between Japan and Rwanda were channeled through the Embassy of Japan in Kenya. Since 2010, the Embassy has been making efforts to deepen the relations between the two nations. Japan delivers assistance to Rwanda by way of technical cooperation, grant assistance and loan with the focus on three areas of development as follows.

  1. Economic Infrastructure Development (Transportation, Trade Facilitation and Energy),
  2. Agricultural Development (Promotion of Market Oriented and Value Added Agriculture), 
  3. Social Service Improvement (Sustainable Safe Water Supply and Sanitation Service),
  4. Human Resources Development for Sustainable Growth and Job Creation (Science and Technology Education and Training)

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

For further information, please contact:
Saori Kishi, Political and Economic Officer, Embassy of Japan in Rwanda, Tel: +250 (0) 78 838 5403, Email:

Siddartha (Sid) Shrestha, Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships, UNICEF Rwanda, Tel: +250 (0) 788 301419, Email:



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