National

Japan considers $8.6 billion U.N. pledge to support progress on development goals

Kyodo

Japan is making arrangements for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pledge about $8.55 billion at a U.N. meeting next month in New York as part of the country’s contribution to attaining development goals set by the body, government sources said Tuesday.

Of the total sum intended to assist developing countries, $4.4 billion will go to disaster reduction, about $4 billion to health care and around $150 million to education, according to the sources.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals consist of 17 objectives to be achieved by 2030, such as eliminating poverty and hunger and addressing climate change.

Abe is expected to visit New York for the U.N. General Assembly and attend a leaders’ meeting on SDGs, the first of its kind since the goals were adopted in 2015, in order to make the pledge, the sources said.

Disaster reduction, health care and education are key pillars of a government action plan drawn up in June, and the envisaged $8.55 billion support package will be part of it.

Tokyo has placed an emphasis on disaster reduction in recent years, following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

As Abe hosted the Group of 20 summit in Osaka in late June and secured a pledge by fellow leaders to reduce the discharge of marine plastic litter to zero by 2050, he is also expected to present the outcome at the U.N. meeting, the sources said.

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