Talking Points for the UNICEF Representative

Mahama, 29 November 2017

Your Excellency, Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda

Embassy of Japan colleagues

Director of Refugee Affairs, MIDIMAR

Representativefrom UNHCR and colleagues

NGO Partners

Friends from the media

Ladies and gentlemen

Dear children

I am honoured to be part of today’svisit to MahamaCamp.

Earlier this year, the Government of Japan committed more than $630,000 to UNICEF to expand basic services for Burundian refugees in Mahama. These services consist of a holistic package of interventions, including child protection, health promotion, early childhood development, and education. As we have seen today, these programmes have made a significant difference in the lives of refugee children and women. It is an integrated approach to child development that ensures young children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

In the past, contributions from the Government of Japan to UNICEF have supported refugee children and women affected by other humanitarian crises as well. Funding from the Government of Japan has provided psychosocial support for more than 8,000 children and their families. This has helped respond to violence, family separation, and abuse.

Contributions have also helped children stay in school, through the construction of new classrooms and other infrastructure, directly supporting more than 15,000 students.

As we have seen during our visit today, children in Mahama Camp and in the host community are greatly benefitting from the projects funded by the Government of Japan.

Sites such as the Child Friendly Spaceprovide valuable spaces where children can be children. Where they can grow and develop through play and exploration. I know you will agree that all children deserve that, regardless of their circumstances.

Children in refugee situations are often deprived of their basic rights. Providing them protection, access to early learning, and education is our collective obligation.

We greatly appreciate the Government of Japan’s continued focus on the critical needs of refugees. And we are grateful to the people of Japan for their sustained generosity.

I would like to welcome the Ambassador once again to Mahama Camp. We hope you have had a great experience in learning about the various interventions during your visit, and we hope to continue our close partnership with the Government of Japan in the future.

We are grateful for the leadership of MIDIMAR, the strong coordination of UNHCR, and our collaboration with all partners.

Thank youfor working with us to give all children in Rwanda hope for a brighter future.