VIENNA(HORNA-Sharief), 2 March 2012 – The Government of Japan will fund projects to be implemented in Africa by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) worth a total of over USD 7 million, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and South Sudan.
The projects aim to provide vocational training and equipment for productive activities to help increase employment opportunities and income generation for vulnerable groups, especially those affected by recent conflicts.
The Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, said that Japan was a key donor of the Organization, adding: “We have enjoyed long and fruitful cooperation with Japan. This new funding is another illustration of our strong partnership, which is vital for UNIDO’s activities aimed at sustainable industrial development in developing countries.”
According to the Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, Ambassador Toshiro Ozawa, creating employment opportunities for youth is an important challenge in developing countries, and Japan hopes that this contribution will support UNIDO in producing tangible results within the scope of the projects.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, UNIDO will support the revival of the local agro-processing sector. The project, worth USD 1,300,000, will stimulate income generation, job creation and improve food security in the province of Bas Congo. Some 1,000 households, or 4,000 people, mainly poor producers and rural entrepreneurs, among them youth and women, are expected to benefit.
In Kenya, a USD 500,000 project will assist the Government in its efforts to achieve sustainable social and economic development and at the same time conserve forests and the environment, which are threatened by encroaching farmers and displaced people. UNIDO will promote the development of bamboo micro-industries in the Mau Forest Complex, helping internally displaced people evicted from the region, and poor members of host communities, especially youth and women, to secure new jobs.
Under a second project in Kenya, with a budget of USD 1,000,000, soya bean processing technologies are to be transferred to various counterpart organizations to produce processed soya bean products, which are to be delivered particularly to refugees from Somalia that are currently in Kenya and are threatened by famine.
In Liberia, UNIDO will contribute to the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy aimed at revitalizing the economy in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, mining, manufacturing and services, by providing several hundred vulnerable beneficiaries, including ex-combatants and youth, with marketable skills for employment, enterprise creation and income generation opportunities. The project’s budget is USD 700,000.
In Sierra Leone, UNIDO will spend some USD 800,000 on rehabilitating and constructing Growth Centres and other basic infrastructure in rural areas, as well as on training in small-scale renewable energy applications in agriculture, fishery and other energy related services. This will help reduce post-harvest losses, facilitate the commercialization of subsistence agriculture and expand non-farm business activities to improve the human security conditions of vulnerable communities.
In Somalia’s Awdal, Maroodi-Jeex and Togdheer regions, a USD 1,500,000 project to be implemented by UNIDO will support economic revitalization through income generation and employment creation. Over 750 people, mainly youth, poor producers and rural entrepreneurs will be the beneficiaries.
In South Sudan, UNIDO will assist the Government in its efforts towards a lasting peace, poverty eradication and sustainable social and economic development. Some 750 people, mostly internally displaced youth (including ex-combatants), are expected to benefit from the USD 1,500,000 project that will help them gaining life skills.
UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION SERVICE VIENNA (UNIS)