Japan commits over Rs3bn to install weather radar in Sukkur

ISLAMABAD: Economic Affairs Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar on Monday witnessed the signing of a Japanese grant assistance of JPY1.986 billion (Rs3.078 billion) for the installation of a weather surveillance radar in Sukkur.

“The project will help ensure reliable and timely meteorological services to prevent the damage to life and property caused by disasters,” a statement issued by the Economic Affairs Division read. “The grant agreement was signed by EAD Secretary Noor Ahmad and Ambassador of Japan Matsuda Kuninori on behalf of their governments.”

Speaking on the occasion, the EAD secretary said that Pakistan values the reciprocal and congenial relations with Japan and both countries share mutual stance on most of the regional and international affairs. “Japanese economic assistance has played and shall continue to play a vital role in the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan, he added.

Ahmad also appreciated the earlier assistance extended by JICA for installation of weather surveillance radars in Karachi, Islamabad and Multan and establishment of Specialized Medium-Range Weather Forecasting Centre (SMRFC). He acknowledged Japan as a proactive development partner who has always helped Pakistan during any emergency such as polio and Covid-19 outbreak.

The Japanese envoy said that disaster management was one of its priority areas as both countries were prone to natural disasters with frequent episodes of floods, earthquakes, storms, landslides and heavy rains. “Japan, with its experience and technical expertise, is glad to assist Pakistan, especially for disaster risk reduction, to save lives and properties of people,” he added.

Apart from these projects, he said, Japan regularly offers fully-funded training courses and masters/doctorate programmes, including Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Leaders Capacity Development and Human Resource Development, to strengthen disaster management in Pakistan.

The economic affairs minister appreciated the Japanese government for its continued support and assured the Japanese-side of extending all necessary facilitation for more meaningful and enhanced cooperation between the two sides in future.

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