The Government of Japan has formalised two grant agreements, worth $300 million Japanese Yen (FJD$6 million) funding to the Government of Fiji through Japan’s Economic Social Development Programme (ESDP).

The funding assistance will enable the procurement of heavy machinery equipment for Fisheries, Agriculture and Waterways. The provisions of heavy machinery will be utilised in post-disaster recovery, rehabilitation and ultimately support Fiji’s national development priorities.

Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretary Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yogesh Karan and Kawakami Fumihiro, Ambassador of Japan formalised Japan’s assistance to Fiji at the signing and exchange of notes Ceremony at the Japanese Embassy in Suva.

Ambassador Kawakami conveyed his deep sympathy to the people of Fiji affected by recent natural disasters such as Tropical Cyclone Cody, the Tsunami and the airborne ash generated by the volcanic eruption in Tonga, as well as the third wave of COVID-19.

He highlighted that this assistance was in response to the needs for agriculture and fisheries development and waterways management by the relevant Ministries, and will meaningfully help build Fiji’s resilience against natural disasters and the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.

He expressed his happiness upon the formalisation of this funding assistance as it is the tangible realisation of Japan’s commitment for the initiatives titled, “Strengthening the Foundation for Sustainable and Resilient Economic Development” and “Climate Change and Disaster Resilience”, which are two of the five prioritised cooperation areas under the Japan-Pacific Bond Policy or Kizuna Policy, as announced by then Japanese Prime Minister, Suga Yoshihide, at the 9th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9), held in July 2021. The PALM 9 was also attended by Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama.

Ambassador Kawakami assured that Japan continues to stand-by Fiji in the face of these difficult times and expressed his confidence that this assistance will further strengthen friendship between Japan and Fiji.

Photo: Fijian Government

Ambassador Yogesh Karan conveyed the Fijian Government’s appreciation to the Government of Japan for this exemplary partnership in building back our economy through enhanced bilateral relations.

He commended Japan for this timely support as it will generate socioeconomic development opportunities and complement the Fijian Government’s commitment to rebuild economy through empowering our local businesses, investments in the fisheries and agriculture sector to thrive.

Ambassador Karan said this collaboration is a testament of our strong bonds of friendship and commitment in advancing resilience and sustainability through the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

He thanked the Government of Japan for their tremendous support rendered to Fiji’s national development over the years and acknowledged the cooperation continues to grow from strength to strength.

Japan has remarkably supported Fiji in areas of disaster risk reduction through funding including ESDP and Stand-by Loan, Detailed Design for the Project for Reconstruction of Tamavua-i-wai Bridge, and support in Fiji’s national response to COVID-19 through funding including ESDP and Emergency Yen Loan. In addition, the next phase of Emergency Yen Loan and the Construction Phase of Tamavua-i-wai Bridge Project is under consideration.