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Last Update : Monday, Mar 28, 2016

JapanGov Weekly

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Wednesday, Mar 23, 2016]

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with Laos: Improving the health conditions for residents while promoting investment in Vientiane which faces a rising water demand

On March 23, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Vientiane, the capital city, to provide up to 10.271 billion yen for the Vientiane Capital Water Supply Expansion Project.

In order to improve the water supply services in Vientiane, where the demand for water is growing, this project will expand the Chinaimo water treatment plant located in the southern part of Vientiane and update the facilities for water distribution in the central area of the capital. The funding for this project will be allocated to public works, equipment procurement and expenses for consulting services (construction supervision and the like).

In recent years, the economy of the Lao PDR has grown at more than seven percent per year, and due to the accompanying increase in population and construction of industrial complexes and large business facilities, the demand for water is projected to rise not only for household use but for industry and commerce as well. The Government of the Lao PDR has set a water connection rate goal for Vientiane of 80 percent by 2020, but the current rate there remains at 72 percent and the existing water treatment plants already operate at overload capacity. The water distribution network is also inadequate, resulting in constant water cutoffs. The inability to provide a stable supply of safe drinking water has led to concerns of adverse effects on the health of residents.

Given these circumstances, the Government of the Lao PDR requested financial cooperation for this project to solve this major problem of a water shortage expected to begin in 2020. This project will expand the treatment capacity of the Chinaimo water treatment plant from the current 80,000 cubic meters per day to 120,000 cubic meters.

Japan has provided support for capacity enhancement of the Chinaimo and other water treatment plants in Vientiane through grant aid, and for training support through technical cooperation for engineers working on the operation, management and maintenance of water facilities at the provincial water supply authorities and at the water supply authority in Vientiane. A technical cooperation project currently in progress is the Capacity Development Project for Improvement of Management Ability of Water Supply Authorities, under which technical support is being deployed to strengthen the management capacity of the Vientiane Capital Water Supply State Enterprise that handles the operations, management and maintenance of the Chinaimo water treatment plant.

This project is being implemented in coordination with other Japanese support to ensure a stable supply of water in Vientiane, and it is expected that the living environment will be healthier for residents and that the project will encourage private investment.

[Japan International Cooperation Agency] [Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016]

Signing of Grant Agreement with Seychelles: Fishing port expansion and the construction of fisheries facilities to support efficient operations by artisanal fisheries

On March 22, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Republic of Seychelles to provide grant aid of up to 1.46 billion yen for the Project for Construction of Artisanal Fisheries Facilities in Mahé Island (Phase 2).

This project will expand the fishing port area and construct fisheries facilities at Providence Port on the island of Mahé, the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa.

The country’s national development plan, titled “Seychelles Strategy 2017,” calls for a doubling of the gross domestic product and emphasizes the tourism and fisheries industries as the two main pillars of the country. In recent years, there has been a rising trend in the volume of fisheries products from artisan fisheries in Seychelles, with the largest volume coming through the Port of Victoria and this increase has already outstripped the capacity of the port. As topographical features hinder expansion to the Port of Victoria, the expansion of existing fishing port facilities and the construction of new facilities at Providence Port are urgent issues for the country.

By expanding Providence Port and providing an ice plant, an ice storage warehouse and other fisheries facilities, this project will ensure that there is adequate mooring space for artisanal fisheries, and allow efficient fishing port operations and product quality, thereby contributing to the development of the fisheries industry in Seychelles, including seafood processing.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Monday, Mar 21, 2016]

Emergency Grant Aid for besieged and hard-to-reach areas in Syria

1. On March 18, the Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of 5 million US dollars through International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and United Nations Mine Action Service of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNMAS) for supporting people in mainly besieged and hard-to-reach areas in Syria.

2. This emergency grant aid is to provide support such as providing food and non-food items, improving water, sanitation, health and medical care, as well as implementing risk education and clearance activities of explosive remnants of war (ERW) in besieged areas in Syria where urgent assistance is needed.