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Speech Transcripts

June 1, 2022

Statement by President Tanaka at the 2022 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings Human Capital Ministerial Conclave
"Building back better: Realizing a society based on human security, where no one is left behind"

Online

In order to build back better from the ongoing crises triggered by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and to reach our goal of achieving the SDGs by 2030, JICA is committed to strengthening our human-centered development approach which seeks to leave no one behind.

The COVID pandemic has exacerbated global poverty and disproportionately impacted our vulnerable populations. According to the World Bank, an estimated 17 trillion US dollars' worth of lifetime income will be lost due to the detrimental impact of the pandemic on global education. Employment opportunities, especially for vulnerable groups, are being further reduced, pushing them to the brink of poverty. We must turn the tide so that everyone can fulfill their potential and live with dignity.

The path to recovery from the pandemic became further complicated by the war in Ukraine and the subsequent impact on food and energy prices and the global economy. We must act now to halt the widening disparities and prevent further losses of learning and employment opportunities.

Using our strength in developing educational material, JICA has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to regaining the significant loss of learning felt by 6.8 million children across 40 countries due to the pandemic. Thus far, we have provided independent study materials to enable children to continue their education from home and developed online teacher training tools to support educators in providing quality lessons despite the many challenges they now face. All materials provided are aligned with the national curriculum of host governments and made available on our website in five languages (Arabic, English, French, Japanese, and Spanish) with more languages forthcoming.

In addition, particularly in Africa, we are implementing "School for All" projects which work hand in hand with local communities to improve school attendance, promote inclusiveness for girls and children with disabilities, provide school lunches, and address learning loss.

In collaboration with our development partners, we aim to expand these efforts and provide quality education to 40 million children by 2030.

To contribute to the global pandemic response, we have provided approximately 5 billion US dollars of COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loans to 22 countries. Large parts of this budget support were utilized to protect employment, through measures such as providing support to small and micro-businesses and designing social protection systems for low-wage and informal workers.

Moving forward, we must intensify our efforts. In the medium to long-term, governments should strive to create vibrant job markets with active private sectors. JICA has already begun this work in Bangladesh and Vietnam by applying a multi-sector approach which links education, vocational development, and promotion of investment and industries. We welcome this opportunity to share the knowledge we have gained so that it may benefit everyone.

Now is the time to join together to build back better from the unprecedented crises facing our world today.

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