TOKYO, Dec. 22, Kyodo — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that Japan will provide $500 million in fresh assistance for refugees as part of the country’s commitment to achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
Funding for the initiative is included in the third supplementary budget for the current fiscal year through March that was approved at a Cabinet meeting earlier Thursday.
To combat the refugee crisis prompted by Syria’s prolonged civil war, Japan will support countries taking in large numbers of refugees through official development assistance, as well as directly supporting refugees’ self-reliance.
“Through (these actions), we want to set an example and lead the international community in pursuing a sustainable world through both domestic action and international cooperation,” Abe told a meeting of the government’s task force on SDGs on Thursday.
Japan’s SDGs plan also includes a contribution of around $330 million to Gavi, a global vaccine fund for tackling communicable diseases, and a renewed commitment to promoting women’s empowerment in developing countries.
The SDGs, adopted at a U.N. summit September 2015 to improve development around the world, set numerical targets to be reached by 2030 in 17 fields including poverty, health and education.