By Zoubida Senoussi
By Zoubida Senoussi
Rabat – The Embassy of Japan announced its new project, “Protection and Assistance to Urban Refugees in Morocco,” at a reception on Friday in Rabat.
With the help of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the Moroccan family Planning Association, this new project aims to help refugees in their integration into Moroccan society by providing access to healthcare and to job services.
Moroccan society is keen to create new jobs. The Japanese Ambassador to Morocco, Takuji Hanatani, believes that refugees can make a positive contribution to the job market by creating small enterprises that employ Moroccans.
“There are two reasons why Japan is supporting this very important project: to build a multicultural society and to strengthen security for refugees,” said Takuji Hanatani to Morocco World News, adding that Japan has “contributed to Morocco’s evolution for over 50 years.”
Takuji Hanatani also told MWN that the Japanese government donated US 220,000 to finance the “Protection and Assistance to Urban Refugees in Morocco.”
“The human dimension is very important for the sustainable development of Morocco,” he concluded.
During this gathering, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees advisor, Jean-Paul Cavalieri has taken to the stage to talk about the needs and the expectations of refugees.
“Healthcare is the first thing that refugees need in Morocco.They come to us in aim of a social security,” he said, pointing out that this is the first priority of the new project.
Cavalieri expressed his gratitude towards the Japan government “for the unconditional support through this program that will hopefully answer refugees’ expectations and help them to rebuild themselves in our very own Morocco.”
The real challenge is to guarantee the right of integration, according to Ftouhi Abdelkader, President of the Moroccan Family Planning Association, who expressed his concerns regarding a “discriminatory society.”
“We need to make sure that refugees feel safe in Morocco. To do so, we need to provide psychological coaching, medical caravans, workshops and awareness days,” he said.
As he presented the program, Ftouhi emphasized the need to help urban refugees in their socio-economic journey and in their professional training as an important axis for prosperity.
Japan’s government continues to support Morocco by funding social and cultural projects that strive to strengthen relations between the two countries.
In 2017, the Japanese government donated MAD 2.2 million to three Moroccan associations involved in several fields, including women’s economic empowerment, sustainable agriculture, and education.