ISLAMABAD - The Government of Japan has decided to extend financial support totalling $406,178 (approximately Rs4.1 million) to five Pakistani organisations.  The agreements for the five projects were signed here on Thursday between chargé d'affaires ad interim of Japan to Pakistan Junya Matsuura and heads of the five organisations.

The organisations, which are going to get the Japanese support for implementation of social development projects for disadvantaged communities of the country, are Mian Afzal Trust Hospital (MATH), Pakiza Public Girls Elementary School, Lahore Association Pakistan (LAP), Sanj Welfare Society and Human Appeal International (HAI). A grant of $83,040 was handed over to NGO MATH to be utilised for construction of a treatment and rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Gujranwala. The NGO is already running a facility, which has 125 beds, but provides services to males only. The new centre will be dedicated to children and women and will be equipped with 20 beds where 80 patients can be treated annually.

A grant of $82,655 was provided to Pakiza Public Girls Elementary School for construction of primary and middle school for children of marginalised communities. The project adds 11 rooms for classes up to 8th grade in District Bhakkar. The new building with better-quality facilities will have increased capacity; thus allowing enrolment of students to rise to 360 in the coming years. Currently, 180 students are studying in a rented building, which, with an increase in demand, is unable to accommodate new students.

NGO LAP, on the other hand, was awarded a grant of $80,236 for provision of a bus to a school for special children, Fukuoka School for Special Children, in Lahore. There are many special children who do to get enrolled in the school because their families do not have transportation facilities. The 30-seater school bus to be purchased for special children’s pick and drop is expected to overcome that issue.

SWS received $77,047 for constructing a 1.5km link road in Pharrel Village in Tehsil Murree of District Rawalpindi, which will connect people of 5 villages and enable them to have access to schools, hospitals and other basic facilities. The project is expected to benefit 907 households (i.e. approximately 9,000 individuals).

Similarly, a grant of $83,200 was awarded to Human Appeal International, Pakistan for installation of Water Filtration Plants in Tehsil Samundri of District Faisalabad. Through the current grant, the project is expected to provide safe drinking water to approximately 6,000 households in six villages of the selected district; and will help in minimising water borne diseases such as diarrhoea, hepatitis and skin infections in the target areas.

Matsuura, at the signing ceremony, congratulated all organisations and wished for successful completion of their projects. He then also assured continuous support to Pakistani communities and hoped that the projects would strengthen the friendly relations between the people of Japan and Pakistan.

The Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Programme is an initiative of the Japanese government with the belief that in consideration of the enormity of the challenges being faced by the world today development assistance should not be limited to governments; it should be channelled to the grassroots level through civil society organisations. Since it began in 1989, the GGP Programme has supported more than 360 projects throughout Pakistan, with a contribution of more than 2.5 billion Japanese yen.