Japan will accelerate assistance for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, including $3 million in grants for rebuilding the southern city of Kandahar, now that a transitional government has been established, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said Tuesday.

The reconstruction project, currently being carried out in Kabul, employs local people to engage in simple reconstruction work, such as clearing debris. The money will be disbursed to the United Nations Development Program.

The aid to Kandahar, which is facing floods of repatriating refugees, was decided after Sadako Ogata, Japan’s special envoy for Afghan reconstruction, inspected the area earlier this month and reported on the need to create jobs for returning refugees.

The government will offer $10 million in humanitarian aid for Afghan refugees in and around Afghanistan through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as $640,000 for the Red Cross Society to help returning refugees.

In addition, $700,000 will be offered to UNESCO to help preserve the Bamiyan remains, Kawaguchi said.

The new assistance measures are part of the $500 million Japan pledged in January for Afghan reconstruction over the next 2 1/2 years.

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