Qatar Friendship Fund Projects as a Model for the World.
Qatar Friendship Fund Projects as a Model for the World
Annual Beneficial Economic Impact of 120 million USD
Mitsubishi Research Institute finds the economic ripple effect of QFF projects is playing a key role in helping rejuvenate and regenerate the Tohoku area
- Qatar Fund for Development Director General Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari explains the significant impact of QFF projects on the Tohoku economy
- Two research project results announced, both highlighting the positive impact of QFF projects on the economy and the surrounding communities
- QFF’s support of fisheries projects MASKAR and Kamaishi Hikari Foods shown to be highly beneficial both on the economy and as a symbol of reconstruction and hope in the area
Tokyo, Japan: 13th October 2016 For immediate release
The Qatar Friendship Fund today held a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club Japan, Tokyo, to announce the considerable impact of its projects on fisheries, child education, health and entrepreneurship in the three Tohoku prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima. Mitsubishi Research Institute findings illustrate an annual economic impact of 120 million USD on the Tohoku area, with an estimated 1.8 billion USD impact over the next ten years, demonstrating QFF could be utilized as a successful case study globally in case of disaster.
Qatar Fund for Development Director General Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari speaking at the QFF Press Conference held on 13th October 2016 at FCCJ Tokyo
In attendance was Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) Director General Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, who addressed the approximately 50 assembled media, QFF project proponents and affiliates. Mr. Al-Kuwari highlighted not only the proven economic benefits of QFF projects on the region, but also the more intangible yet equally significant impact on morale and community strength in the areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
The Director General explained: “In addition to clear economic benefits, the wide-ranging impact includes child education, the training of capable personnel, and the fostering of entrepreneurs. These less tangible but equally valuable benefits of the QFF projects will continue to foster positive benefits to the region, rejuvenating the economy through not only job-creation, but fostering ambition and initiative, increased interest in science and engineering among children, and increasing entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship through support and provision of expertise to encourage innovation and start-ups in Tohoku.”
Mr. Al-Kuwari also highlighted the strategic decisions behind the projects chosen and the great importance QFF placed in supporting sustainable projects. The reasoning and importance behind the support of projects in the areas of Healthcare, followed by Fisheries, Child Education and finally Entrepreneurship were clearly explained. (SEE APPENDIX)
Mr. Kazuyuki Tsuchiya, Infrastructure Management Group, Mitsubishi Research Institute
Professor Osamu Baba, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
The Director General’s speech was followed by the presentation of research findings published in the QFF Impact Evaluation report, conducted by Mr. Kazuyuki Tsuchiya at the Infrastructure Management Group at the renowned Mitsubishi Research Institute. He presented the economic benefits of the QFF projects in Tohoku, together with the economic ripples effect and expected benefits in the region over the next 10 years. He discussed his personal experience in governmental and charitable projects, highlighting the clear differences between QFF and other projects, and citing clear examples of how the sustainability of the projects, together with the strong support and monitoring system, results in stronger project management, and ultimately a stronger overall project. He also cited the strong local government support, local and national networks, as well as collaborations with local businesses and facilities as key to the successful sustainability of these projects.
The press conference concluded with a presentation of research results by Dr. Osamu Baba, a Professor at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. His research project focused on the impact of two key fisheries projects supported by QFF, namely MASKAR, a multi-functional fish processing and storage facility in Onagawa town, and Kamaishi Hikari Foods, a high value-added freezing and wastewater treatment facility in Kamishi city.
Professor Baba explained that MASKAR was “A light of hope as a ‘Symbol of Reconstruction’ to the people of Onagawa”. In addition to its 13 billion JPY economic effect, approximately 700 jobs have been created as a direct and indirect result of MASKAR. Its construction provides stable and secure support for businesses and fishing operations, flexible solutions, convenience and ease of use. Furthermore, it’s protection against a Level 1 tsunami provides the workers and the local businesses peace of mind that their stock will be protected should the worst happen again. Professor Baba highlighted the need for MASKAR to develop from being a symbol of reconstruction, to playing a core role in the revitalisation of the fishing industry in Onagawa and local areas.
The Kamaishi Hikari Foods project was hailed by Professor Baba as playing a “key role as a pioneering marine products processor, and a key driving force in the development of the marine products processing industry”. Hikari foods was set up following the disaster, and CEO Mr. Sato made the conscious decision to support the local Toni town economy, even though more spacious and convenient locations could have been chosen. Research shows that Hikari foods, like MASKAR, also acted as a beacon of hope for the people of the area, encouraging people to stay in Toni town.
In addition to creating 22 new jobs, it succeeded in achieving product sales of over 230 million JPY in 2015, and has established a direct sales network of frozen and TONI brand processed marine foods with 44 companies, with over 500 restaurants. This innovative enterprise utilises not only high value-added freezing technology, but has also incorporated a wastewater treatment facility to ensure that the surrounding watercourses and sea is kept clean and sanitary.
||It is recognised that immediately after a disaster, initial concerns fall strongly on health and safety. In supporting Morioka Hospital, mobile clinics provided medical assistance to those unable to get to a hospital or clinic themselves. Provision of socks to prevent thrombosis, a common problem in such incidents as these where people are forced to sleep in narrow spaces such as their car or do not move around as much as normal, protected elderly residents against serious illness and medical complications. QFF’s construction of the Annabi Sports Plaza gave local children a safe indoor environment in which to play, as well as an exercise space for all generations. The reconstruction of the sports field at Shirakawa Sports Park gave residents not only the chance to exercise and play sports, but also host sports events for people in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures.
||The next strategic focus was the fishing industry – the key economic backbone of the Tohoku region. A weak economy and lack of jobs caused by the devastation of the key industry results in depopulation and serious demoralization of the local community. By supporting MASKAR and Kamaishi Hikari Foods, QFF has helped create not only a stronger and rejuvenated economy, but also a symbol of hope for the residents in the local areas.
||The third strategic focus targeted the future of Japan – children. By supporting education programs and projects for children, QFF wanted to ensure that the future generation of Tohoku were able to learn key life skills at Elem, and sustainable learning at Moriumius-Lusail. The future engineers and researchers of the Tohoku region are being nurtured and their interest in science peaked through seminars and workshops conducted at the Qatar Science Campus.
||Entrepreneurship is the final of the four strategic pillars. In order to sustain a strong economy, more than simply continuing with traditional economic stimulus is required. By nurturing entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, QFF is encouraging innovation, nurturing start-ups, and ensuring that a strong and competitive Tohoku economy in the future.
QFF Projects as a model for the world: The focus on four strategic pillars:
Notes for editors:
About Qatar Friendship Fund
The Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF) is a gift from the State of Qatar to the Japanese people to support relief efforts following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. QFF was launched by His Highness the Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani in 2012, and operates under the auspices of H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar. Under the direct leadership of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, QFF is chaired by H.E. Yousef Bilal, Qatar’s Ambassador to Japan, with the support of a Japanese advisory board. The Fund aims to nurture hope for victims and offer direct assistance in a prompt, effective and sustainable manner. QFF underscores the strong friendship between the Japanese and Qatari people and, over a five-year period (2012-2016), will continue to focus on supporting the strategic priorities of child education, fisheries, healthcare and entrepreneurship. For more information on the Qatar Friendship Fund, seehttp://www.qatarfriendshipfund.org/
Since June 2016, QFF has been supervised and managed by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).
About Qatar Fund for Development
The Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) is a Qatari public organization established and organized pursuant to Law Number 19 of 2002 as amended, and officially mandated to coordinate and implement foreign development assistance on behalf of the State of Qatar. The Qatar Fund For Development has provided foreign assistance to several countries worldwide targeting a variety of sector needs, including education, health, and economic development. The Qatar Fund For Development is committed to delivering aid through bilateral and multilateral channels in compliance with best practices. Since June 2016, QFF has been supervised and managed by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).
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