13 November 2005 Male’ – The visiting delegation of Japanese Parliamentarians have stressed the importance of attaining self-reliance in the recovery and reconstruction of Maldives following the Tsunami. They have noted that it is important for the government, international donors and NGOs to promote self-reliance of communities and individuals in recovering from the Tsunami and returning to normal lives.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Member of House Councillors of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party, Mr. Shin Sakurai noted the progress as well as the remaining challenges of the recovery programme. He further said that visiting the Maldives ten months after the disaster had given them a good insight into the situation of the country.

Finally he assured the Maldives of continued support of his delegation and Japan to work in partnership to Tsunami recovery as well as population and development issues. Mr. Sakurai expressed his views on the recovery programme during his meetings with the Speaker of the People’s Majlis and members of Parliament, the Honourable Minister of Defence Mr Ismail Shafeeu and the Honourable Minister of Health, Mr Ilyas Ibrahim.

The delegation arrived in the Maldives last Thursday, to observe Japanese-funded Tsunami projects implemented by the United National Population Fund in partnership with the Government of Maldives. During their two-day visit, the delegation toured Male’ to view some of the Japanese-assisted projects and visited Meemu and Thaa Atoll where UNFPA supported projects are being implemented.

The visit was organised by the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) and the UNFPA.

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