UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday pledged US$1.5 billion (S$2.14 billion) in aid at the United Nations to help refugees from Syria and Iraq and to support peace efforts in the Middle East and Africa.
The package includes US$810 million to assist refugees from and people displaced within Syria and Iraq - triple the amount Japan provided last year, and US$750 million for peace building in the Middle East and Africa.
Japan has set aside another US$2 million to assist Lebanon, which hosts more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees, and US$2.5 million to assist Serbia and Macedonia, through which refugees flee en route to the European Union.
"Each of these assistance measures is an emergency countermeasure that Japan is able to undertake," Mr Abe told the UN General Assembly. "But at the same time our unchanging principle is at all times to endeavour to return to the root of the problem and improve the situation."
The US$750 million set aside for Iraq, and the wider Middle East and North Africa is expected to go on peace and stability efforts such as vocational training, and providing dependable water and sewage facilities.