Japanese aid groups suspend activities in Bangladesh

(From Asahi Shimbun)

After chilling details emerged from the hostage crisis, a Japanese man in Dhaka who works on Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) projects received frantic calls from his Bangladeshi colleagues and friends.

“Are you safe?” one of them asked. Another offered: “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Kansai bangladesh project

Kansai Bangladesh Project

The man said the calls made him happy amid the tragedy, and he vowed to press on with his aid work.

“At times like this, it has become all the more important to make efforts to contribute to the development (of Bangladesh),” he said. But others have harbored different thoughts since seven Japanese were among those killed in the terrorist attack at a restaurant in the Bangladeshi capital.

Expressing horror, sadness and reluctance, some Japanese aid groups are suspending their activities in Bangladesh. Like the seven Japanese who died in the attack, these groups developed a strong fondness for the Bangladeshi people. Their work has included improving infrastructure and promoting education in what is considered one of the poorest countries in Asia.

Kobe-based nonprofit organization Kansai Bangladesh Project has been engaged in supplying electricity and supporting child education in the country for more than 30 years. Read more

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