Japan has pledged funds worth billions of rupees for the setting up of a high-end weather surveillance radar in Sukkur as per the agreement co-signed by government representatives including the Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Noor Ahmad, and the Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan, Matsuda Kuninori.
The tendered pledge amounts to Rs. 3.078 billion, with reliable sources suggesting that the new radar will help to deliver reliable and timely weather forecasts to prevent excessive damage in the event of a natural disaster.
The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, attended the signing ceremony and commended the government of Japan for pursuing bilateral developmental programs in Pakistan. He said,
Pakistan values the reciprocal and congenial relations with Japan, and both countries share a mutual stance on most of the regional and international affairs.
In another statement, the Secretary EAD, Noor Ahmad, apprised the attendees of the meeting of his views and lauded the previous assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the setting up of weather surveillance radars in Karachi, Islamabad, and Multan. He said,
Japanese economic assistance has played and shall continue to play a vital role in the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan.
He also thanked Japan for being an active development partner and praised the JICA for establishing a Specialized Medium-Range Weather Forecasting Centre (SMRFC) at the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Islamabad.
Ambassador Kuninori appreciated Pakistan for its measures against natural disasters, adding that “disaster management is one of its priority areas as both the countries are prone to natural disasters with frequent episodes of floods, earthquakes, storms, landslides, and heavy rains”.
Besides the upcoming weather surveillance project in Sukkur, Japan offers fully-funded crash courses and post-graduate certifications in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Leaders Capacity Development, and Human Resource Development to catapult disaster management skills of Pakistani workers.