On Thursday December 2, 2021, Ambassador of Japan Karasawa and Chairman of the Palau Red Cross Society Asanuma signed a grant contract for “The Project for Constructing the New Emergency Relief Supplies Storage Warehouse and Training Center of the Palau Red Cross Society” worth $404,828. The ceremony was held in Palau Community College Assembly Hall and witnessed by President Whipps, Senate President Baules, Speaker Anastacio, Vice President Sengebau Senior, Minister Obichang, US Ambassador Hennessey-Niland, and many guests.

Palau is geographically vulnerable to natural disasters such as typhoons, floods and droughts. In the past, Typhoon Bopha, Typhoon Haiyan and Typhoon Surigae caused massive damages to homes and infrastructure throughout Palau. PRCS has played vital roles as a front liner to help suffering people, distribute emergency supplies and assess damages. In addition, PRCS has been engaged in outreach activities in cooperation with the Government, State Government, schools and local communities.

PRCS currently has three container-type warehouses in Palau Community College. However, they are too small and deteriorating to stock adequate emergency supplies safely. Moreover, the Palau Red Cross does not have training facilities, which makes it difficult for them to extend their outreach activities and trainings for R-DATs, officials and communities. Considering these challenges, the Embassy of Japan has decided to provide a grant aid to construct a new warehouse and training center. This grant worth $404,828 is the second biggest grassroots projects ever.

The new facility will be a two-story building, 16 meters in length by 32 meters in width, located in Airai State. With the completion of this facility, PRCS will be able to store emergency supplies for 300 households safely and distribute them smoothly to impacted areas. In addition, the new building will enable PRCS to extend their activities and trainings to volunteers, officials and communities. In the ceremony, Ambassador Karasawa stated, “We hope this project will enhance Palau’s capacity for disaster risk management.” Chairman Asanuma said, “We are very grateful for much needed help by Japan. This is a very historic moment in the 20-year history of the Red Cross”. President Whipps stated, “It is important to build a new warehouse close to the airport and NEMO”, praising the Red Cross’s partnership with Japan, United States and other partners. Minister Obichang stated, “We were very much waiting for today’s signing ceremony.” The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999 to meet development needs in grassroots activities in Palau. The Embassy of Japan has signed 88 grant contracts with schools, hospitals, state governments and NGOs. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan website at https://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/about_ggp.html

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