On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Karasawa Akira, Ambassador of Japan and Baklai Temengil, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, signed the grant contract for “The Project for Renovating Senior Citizens Center”, valued $89,639, under the Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The signing ceremony was held at the Embassy of Japan and was witnessed by Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs ‘personnel.

The Senior Citizens Center plays a very important role for the welfare of the elderly in Palau. The center provides elderly clients with a variety of programs in the community. For instance, the center supplies nutritious meals; conduct exercise programs and gives opportunity to interact visitors from schools, community organizations, and groups from other countries.

However, the center cannot deal with the increased number of users because of various functional problems. Furthermore, the deterioration of the facility is threatening its client’s safety. To solve these problems, the Embassy of Japan decided to grant the renovation of the center.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Ambassador Karasawa hoped that people will be able to use its facilities safely and feel secured in the building. He also hopes that it will accommodate more people and improve their quality of life. Minister Temengil conveyed her appreciation for the grant as a Minister and on behalf of the President and mentioned that the Ministry had been working on renovation of the center for 10 years but it had not happened.

The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities in Palau. As of February 21, 2020, the Embassy has signed 81 grant contracts with schools and hospitals as well as state governments and non-profit organizations. Education, health care and environment are the primary fields prioritized by Japan and its GGP. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455or visit the Embassy of Japan website at http://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itprtop_en/index.html .