7 February 2024: Japan's Support to Ukraine through UNESCO

Signing ceremony 07Feb2024
Signing ceremony 07Feb2024 © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX
 On February 7, His Excellency Mr Kano Takehiro, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO, and Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, in the presence of His Excellency Mr Vadym Omelchenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to France, Permanent Delegate of Ukraine to UNESCO, signed a document committing Japan to contribute approximately US$14.6 million (about 2 billion yen) from the supplementary budget for FY 2023 to support UNESCO's efforts in Ukraine.
 This is the second time that Japan has provided assistance to Ukraine through UNESCO from its supplementary budget. In the supplementary budget for FY2022, Japan provided approximately US$10 million (about 1.08 billion yen) worth of assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries through UNESCO. This year, Japan will further increase its contribution and, as in the previous year, will support projects focusing on the following three main areas
(i) Protection of Cultural Heritage: Strengthening protection through monitoring, assessment, and emergency response to war damage to cultural heritage, including the World Heritage Site of the Historic Center of Odesa.
(ii) Education: Training educators to provide mental health care support to children and students who are under psychological strain due to war damage.
(iii) Journalist Safety: Providing material, financial, and psychological support and implement capacity building for journalists working in the harsh wartime environment.
 In addition to Ukraine, Japan plans to provide assistance through UNESCO to Ethiopia, Sahel and Central Africa, Turkey, Morocco, and Afghanistan from the supplementary budget for FY2023, bringing the total amount of Japanese assistance to approximately US$19 million (approximately 2.6 billion yen).
 At the signing ceremony, Ms Audrey Azoulay and Ambassador Omelchenko expressed their gratitude for Japan's support.
 Ambassador Kano reiterated Japan's unwavering support for Ukraine and stated that, as Ms Kamikawa Yoko, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, stated during her visit to Ukraine last January, Japan is committed to providing all possible assistance to protect the lives of the Ukrainian people, and that support through UNESCO is part of this effort. Ambassador Kano also said, “We sincerely hope that this project will help Ukraine and its people tackle their current difficult situations working with UNESCO and regain peaceful lives with dignity as early as possible. Rest assured that Japan will continue to stand by Ukraine to achieve that goal.”