The government announced Friday that it will extend $1 million to international humanitarian aid organizations to aid refugees who have evacuated the war-torn Russian republic of Chechnya. Under the emergency aid plan, Japan will offer $500,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the same amount to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said after the day’s Cabinet meeting. The latest decision on Chechen refugee aid was made in response to appeals issued in November by the U.N. and ICRC, the Foreign Ministry said. The contributions will be used to purchase aid supplies to sustain the refugees through the severe winter in the northern Caucasus region, the ministry said. Since Russian forces and Chechen separatist rebels entered armed conflict in August, some 240,000 people have sought refuge in neighboring republics.

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