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Press Releases

July 22, 2010

Summary of Grant Aid Agreements for the First Quarter of 2010

1. During the first quarter of fiscal 2010, from April to June of this year, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a total of 45 grant aid agreements.

A complete list of these agreements is provided in the Appendix [1] Key details are provided below for two of the main projects.

2. On September 30, 2009, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck offshore Padang, a city in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra, destroying numerous buildings in the region near the epicenter. As of October 2009, reports indicated that the earthquake had left 1,119 dead or missing, 1,688 injured and 1,214 seriously injured, and had caused widespread damage to public facilities. Of those, schools were particularly affected, with 1,003 of the 5,911 public schools under the jurisdiction of the West Sumatra Provincial Education Office sustaining heavy damage from the disaster.

Immediately after the earthquake, Japan dispatched Japan Disaster Relief Teams consisting of rescue and medical teams as well as providing relief supplies and other emergency assistance. To ensure that the recovery and reconstruction efforts made possible with this relief aid receive uninterrupted support, JICA initiated a project titled Reconstruction of Schools Considering Quake-resistant and Community Based Disaster Reduction, providing technical cooperation for development planning. This resulted in a proposal to rebuild damaged schools with an earthquake-resistant design so children have a stable environment in which to learn, as well as designating the schools as disaster shelters for local inhabitants. This proposal will be realized through a 549 million yen grant aid agreement for disaster relief and recovery under the Project for Safe School Reconstruction in Devastated Areas of Earthquake in Offshore of Padang in West Sumatra Region.

As existing Indonesian schoolhouses are structurally weak and vulnerable to earthquakes, safe earthquake-resistant structures must be in place to protect students against future disasters. Nine of the elementary schools in heavily damaged Padang and Padang Pariaman Regency designated for reconstruction by Indonesia have been selected for the reconstruction as part of this project. Rebuilding the schoolhouses to be earthquake-resistant will reduce the risk of damage and ensure shelter for students and local inhabitants in the event of an earthquake or tsunami. By demonstrating proper design and construction management, the project will also contribute to improved safety when schools are built or repaired in the future. [2]

3. Burundi, which suffers from economic stagnation due to a civil war that began in 1993 and lasted more than a decade, has also seen its traffic and transportation networks fall into disrepair from lack of management and maintenance. Even in the capital city of Bujumbura, the roads are in poor condition, and since the end of the civil war, the demand for road transportation has increased dramatically.

Japan resumed its aid to Burundi in 2006 after the civil war ended, and JICA established a field office in Bujumbura in October of that year, and has worked towards establishing peace and supporting recovery in Burundi. The office has advanced the formation of infrastructure projects to provide Bujumbura citizens with an improved standard of living, and in 2007, drafted a master plan to improve traffic in the capital as part of the Emergency Study on Urban Transport in Bujumbura.

Through the grant aid for this project, the traffic project was successfully formed and will be implemented. As part of the project agreement, problem areas totaling 4.4 kilometers of road and intersections will be expanded, repaired and improved, including areas along the coast of Lake Tanganyika and within the urban traffic network. It is hoped that by addressing Bujumbura’s pressing need to develop its urban road network, a safe traffic flow will result, transportation costs exacerbated by gridlock will be alleviated, and Burundi’s socioeconomic activity will be revitalized.

Furthermore, this project is expected to contribute to follow-up to the Yokohama Action Plan formulated at TICAD IV, which describes infrastructure improvements as “accelerators of growth." [3]

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