Islamabad, 18 October 2023 (TDI): In a significant move to support the revival of education in flood-affected areas of Sindh, Japan has pledged 5.3 million USD (794 million Japanese Yen) in grant assistance.

The assistance will be dedicated to the reconstruction of educational facilities that have suffered severe damage due to the devastating floods.

A formal signing ceremony took place on October 18, 2023, at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Islamabad, marking the official commitment to this crucial aid.

WADA Mitsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan, KINOSHITA Yasumitsu, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, along with other dignitaries from both nations, were present at this historic event.

The catastrophic monsoon rains since June 2022 have caused widespread flooding, affecting one-third of Pakistan’s population, resulting in over 1,700 fatalities and impacting 33 million individuals.

Among the hardest-hit regions, Sindh province has borne the brunt of this disaster, with a staggering 66% of the total damage occurring in the education sector.

Immediate and extensive restoration of these educational facilities is of paramount importance to provide safe learning opportunities for children.

This commitment from Japan marks the fourth grant assistance initiative aimed at enhancing educational facilities in Sindh province.

Notably, the school buildings supported by Japan in previous projects exhibited greater resilience and sustained less damage during the 2022 rainfall and flooding, owing to their design and construction based on the analysis of the 2010 floods.

This new project will further embrace the “Build Back Better” concept, effectively reducing the vulnerability of the target schools to future disasters and promoting resilience within the communities where these schools are located.

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The primary objective of this project is to establish a secure and disaster-resilient learning environment by reconstructing elementary schools severely affected by the 2022 floods and heavy rainfall.

This assistance initiative will significantly contribute to improving school enrollment rates and enhancing gender equality in the targeted areas.

It aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 4 (Quality Education) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality).

During the signing ceremony, WADA Mitsuhiro expressed his hope that this project would further facilitate the creation of an environment where children can continue to receive education even after future floods.

KINOSHITA, in his address, emphasized that the new grant aid project would not only rebuild school infrastructure but also pave the way for a brighter and more resilient future for the next generation of Pakistan.

This collaborative effort between Japan and Pakistan underscores a strong commitment to ensuring quality education and recovery in the face of adversity.

It heralds a new beginning for the flood-affected regions of Sindh, offering hope and resilience to the young learners and communities that have been impacted.