UNITED NATIONS Japan will provide $2.8 billion (2 billion pounds) to help deal with the global refugee crisis over three years from 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday.
Abe made the new pledge at a United Nations summit on refugees on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly. He said the money would be for "humanitarian and self-reliance assistance" for refugees and migrants, and go to help host countries and communities.
Abe said current refugee and migrant movements were unprecedented and amounted to "serious ongoing humanitarian crises." He said Japan wanted to collaborate closely with other countries.
At last year's General Assembly, Abe said Japan would provide about $1.6 billion to assist Syrians and Iraqis displaced by war and for building peace across the Middle East and Africa.
While Japan has been a major donor in helping deal with an international crisis presented by a record 21.3 million refugees globally, it has taken in only a tiny number of refugees itself.
Abe said Japan had been providing assistance to Syrian refugees and host communities in various countries, including Turkey and Jordan. He said as part of its efforts to promote self reliance, it was providing vocational training in central Lebanon to Syrian refugees and Lebanese youth in cooperation with the U.N. refugee agency.
It was also assisting the U.N. Development Program with irrigation projects, Abe said.
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; editing by Grant McCool)