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Press Releases

April 26, 2010

Summary of Grant Aid Agreements for the Fourth Quarter of 2009

1. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, spanning January to March 2010, JICA (President: Sadako Ogata) signed a total of 87 grant agreements.

A complete list is provided in the Appendix [1]. Key details are provided below for three of the major projects.

2. After more than 25 years of continued armed conflict in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009, putting an end to their assertion of independence in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Northern Province suffered much damage during the long war, and since the end of warfare, the nation as a whole had faced the serious issue of returning some 280,000 internally displaced persons while Northern Province rebuilds its socioeconomics.

The provider of medical services in that province is Jaffna Teaching Hospital, located in the city of Jaffna. Although Jaffna Teaching Hospital provides the only tertiary medical care for residents in Northern Province, as the primary and secondary medical institutions no longer function as a result of the conflict, patients seek assistance from Jaffna Teaching Hospital regardless of their level of need. Another issue is the decrepit of equipment that is essential for diagnosis and treatment as no facility investment was made during the war and four decades have elapsed since many of the facilities were constructed. On an annual basis, Jaffna Teaching Hospital was able to handle only 5,786 cases in 2008, and as the capacity to provide diagnosis and other treatments is limited, some 500 patients had to be transported in 2008 to medical facilities in the country’s capital of Colombo.

Given these circumstances, JICA will implement the Project for the Improvement of Central Functions of Jaffna Teaching Hospital under a grant agreement with the amount of 2.297 billion yen to improve the capacity of the hospital to receive patients and provide appropriate treatment for the residents of Northern Province. Detailed design work of this project was carried out in 2005, but the implementation had to be delayed due to fighting which intensified the following year. Seizing the improved security since the conclusion of the war, this project is being restarted. With improvements to Jaffna Teaching Hospital, Northern Province residents will be able to receive medical services locally rather than in distant Colombo. For the residents that suffered over the long war, an improvement in health services would bring a real sense that peace has truly come and give them hope for the future. JICA will support the reconstruction of the war-ruined Northern Province of Sri Lanka in a variety of other areas as well. [2]

3. In the Republic of Guatemala, electrification has progressed as the power grid has expanded, though using independent renewable energy sources such as small-scale hydroelectricity and solar power is under consideration for regions where it is difficult to extend the electric system due to geographic or economic conditions. Given these circumstances, an energy policy has been established for 2008 to 2015, which includes such targets as diversifying energy sources with a priority on renewable energy and promoting sustainable development using renewable and exhaustible resources in an appropriate manner.

To support these measures, JICA will implement the Project for Promotion of Productive Activities with the Use of Clean Energy in Northern Villages in the Republic of Guatemala under a grant agreement with the amount of 1.003 billion yen. Objectives of this project include constructing three small-scale hydroelectric plants in impoverished areas of northern Alta Verapaz Department, where electrification lags, and providing technical support to promote activities related to production that use electricity.

The electrification rate of Alta Verapaz Department, located in the impoverished northern region where many indigenous peoples live, is 41.4 percent, the lowest in the nation and less than half of the country’s overall rate of 83 percent. The three unelectrified villages targeted specifically in the project—Las Conchas, Seasir and Jolom Ijix—are located in a region where the Guatemalan government implemented its regional electrification plan primarily through grid extension, but the three villages were not connected. This project will develop the electrification of homes in villages, constructing small-scale power plants to provide a total of 251 kilowatts of electricity generated using water power as a regional renewable energy source. Excess energy will be utilized to promoting local industry including coffee and cardamom as well as wood products, making a contribution to poverty alleviation by stimulating local industry and creating employment as well as providing electrification to homes. JICA will also provide support through this project to build capacity in Guatemala in registering and applying for Clean Development Mechanisms.

As described, then, this cooperation will provide assistance to actively fight climate change through the use of renewable energy and to improve the lives and livelihoods of Guatemalan residents. [3]

4. Since the Second Intifada of 2000, Palestine has been impacted by the blockades and other measures implemented by Israel that restrict access, greatly limiting the movement of people and goods. As a result, public facilities such as roads, hospitals and schools have not received regular repairs and improvements, while equipment has deteriorated to the point that public services cannot be properly provided.

In their domestic development plan, the Palestinian National Authority has established issues that need to be addressed urgently—including the development of public infrastructures for health care and other social development as well as for schools, electric power, and transportation—and have requested expanded assistance in those fields. [4]

In response to this, JICA is implementing the Project for Support for the Public Activities of the Communities in Jordan Valley as a grant agreement with the amount of 1.176 billion yen. By creating a variety of basic social infrastructures that provide comprehensive support for the lives of residents in the Jordan Valley, this project will raise the quality of public services at the community level, improve the living environment for residents and build economic independence. Such basic infrastructures are the basis for the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity, a concept promoted by Japan. [5]

JICA will provide technical cooperation and training with the aim of improving organization in regional administration, and through implementation of this project, will provide multi-faceted support for both facility and human capacity development, improving the functions of the Palestinian government and public services.

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