25 May 2021 – For nearly a decade, UNODC's Youth Initiative working on drug use prevention and youth empowerment has been able to support NGO projects in 55 countries around the globe with the help of donations from Japan’s Drug Abuse Prevention Center (DAPC).
At a ceremony early May, the Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations in Vienna, Takeshi Hikihara, presented this year’s pledge from DAPC to UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly.
The donation of US$ 110,000 (JPY 12,000,000) was raised by youth volunteers of DAPC last year for youth drug prevention NGO projects. With this, Japanese youth is supporting and empowering their peers around the globe.
At the ceremony, Ms. Waly expressed appreciation for the opportunity to receive another donation from DAPC Japan also this year for the involvement and engagement of the youth on youth drug prevention. Ms. Waly also highlighted that DAPC Grant Programmes are geographically diverse and have also attracted a high level of interest from a number of NGOs.
Ambassador Hikihara said: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to present the funds raised by DAPC Japan. Fundraising was supported by the Japanese people, involving youth and civil society. I hope that this donation will be allocated to effective anti-drug activities by NGOs and contribute to the global fight against drug abuse.”
The youth volunteers working with DAPC in Japan, mobilize communities and raise funds to be donated to UNODC in support of youth-centred activities on drug use prevention, which align with the UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention. This initiative is truly from youth, to youth, for youth!
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, DAPC funded activities have successfully adapted operational practices to ensure project continuity and minimize health risks. In Serbia, activities have continued, and are being implemented in accordance with the country’s epidemiological recommendations and by working in small groups of parents and pupils.
To respond to the changed circumstances due to the pandemic, the programme in Bolivia adapted its training materials for virtual use. It also has been increasingly providing virtual support for volunteers and educators through chat groups and publishing videos and other documentation of the project on social media platforms.
Since 1993, DAPC Japan has made a total donation of approximately US$ 6.6 million to UNODC. And since 2012, 55 countries have benefited from the DAPC Grant Programme funding.