Strengthened partnership between Fiji and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will enhance opportunities focused on progressive rebuilding and recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 and climate induced challenges.
This commitment was articulated today at a courtesy call received by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Immigration and Sugar Industry and Acting Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yogesh Karan from the new Resident Representative of JICA Fiji Office, Ms. Mayumi Amaike.
At an introductory meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister, PS Karan congratulated Ms. Amaike and wished her well in her new role at the JICA Office in Fiji.
This coincided with a farewell courtesy call from the outgoing Resident Representative of JICA Fiji Office, Ms. Yukari Ono. PS Karan acknowledged Ms. Ono’s leadership during her tenure in Fiji and also conveyed the Fijian Government’s best wishes to Ms. Ono in her future endeavors.
PS Karan thanked JICA for its ongoing assistance to Fiji through infrastructure projects, funding for Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation, technical assistance in Disaster Risk Reduction and programs contributing to Fiji’s socioeconomic development.
Recognising JICA’s Volunteer programme, PS Karan commended the work of JICA volunteers in their efforts to reach communities in Fiji.
In terms of the cooperation for COVID-19 response, PS Karan said Fiji is currently working with its international development partners in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine, whilst focusing on strategies for economic recovery and building back better.
In response, Ms. Amaike said, “While the three priority areas of “Strengthening the Basics for Economic Growth” (especially Infrastructure and Fishery), “Climate Change and Environment”, “Provision of Quality Social Service” (Health and Education) remain important, we will also work with our partners in Fiji in the COVID-19 pandemic fight.
“There are about 2,400 ex-participants of our programs in Japan. Since I have been in charge of training programs in Japan for the past several years, I would like to seek opportunities to collaborate with them in our programs.
“This is the 37th year of JICAs bilateral cooperation with Fiji, in terms of economic and social development. We are proud of our achievements through our cooperation – for instance construction of critical infrastructure (Water Treatment Plant, Fishery Port, USP, CWM Paediatric hospital, Fiji School of Nursing, Fiji Meteorological Service) as well as countless capacity development through trainings and technical cooperation projects.
“We are grateful for the trust developed overtime with the Fijian Government and its people. Although we are in a difficult time with the pandemic, JICA looks forward to continuing working closely together with the Fijian People,” Ms. Amaike said.
Ms. Ono shared the same sentiments and said that it has been a great honour for her to serve as a first female resident representative of JICA Fiji office, in its 37 years operation. She said during her tenure in Fiji from December 2017 to January 2021, the Japanese Government and JICA’s attention to Fiji and Pacific Region have increased with several new cooperation.
“I’d like to express my hearty appreciation to the Fijian Government and people of Fiji for the kindness rendered to me and all the JICA related personnel. I hope that this cordial relationship will be strengthened and continue into the future.”
(Source: The Fijian Government, 26 February 2021)