Novoluhanske, 6 November 2018 – A two member delegation from the Embassy of Japan led by Ambassador Shigeki Sumi visited schools in conflict-affected areas in eastern Ukraine today. The delegation went there to see projects implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with the financial support of the Government of Japan.
Since the start of the conflict, the Government of Japan has been providing humanitarian aid to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions through UNICEF. To date, the total contribution from Japan is US$8.9 million.
This amount includes a special contribution of US$300,000 which was earmarked for improving the learning environment for children's in 12 schools near the ‘contact line’ in Eastern Ukraine. With this funding, UNICEF procured furniture, sport equipment and education supplies. UNICEF also conducted mine risk education sessions for 1,800 children and trained of 100 teachers on how to mitigate some of the stresses facing the children. These interventions have helped the children and teachers cope better with the challenges of the conflict.
During the tour, the Delegation visited Troitske in Luhansk region, and Svitlodarsk and Novoluhanske secondary school in Donetsk region. At one school, the delegation participated in a media briefing and ceremony where the Ambassador handed over sports and school supplies.
“I see happy faces of children although they are attending a school about 2 kilometres from the “line of contact”. Happy because the school environment is now safer. Happy because the children have materials to play with and knowledge to protect themselves from mines and other explosives. UNICEF is grateful to the people of Japan for the generous assistance,” said Jama Gulaid, the UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.
“Japan attaches great importance to the assistance to Eastern Ukraine being suffered by the conflict. Education is one of our priorities in our assistance as the children are the fundamentals for future nation building. We are very much impressed by the children smiling despite of the severe environment in the areas close to the contact line,” said H.E. Mr. Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.