Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through its community empowerment program (CEP), is preparing a number of development projects valued at US$15 million in South Sulawesi.
"The South Sulawesi administration and the Japanese government have signed an agreement to carry out development projects in the province," JICA's deputy resident representative Hanazato Nobuhiko said Friday in Jakarta.
He said that the projects would begin next year with human resource and infrastructure development as the main focus.
Currently, he said, the team -- consisting of JICA, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the provincial administration -- was still formulating the plans for the projects that would be completed in 10 years.
JICA's senior program officer Dinur Krismasari said that the projects were still in the initial stage including a feasibility study on the construction of transportation infrastructure, such as artery roads.
The projects to be developed in South Sulawesi are part of the larger scale development program to be carried out by JICA in the eastern part of Indonesia.
Dinur said South Sulawesi was chosen as the first recipient because the province was considered the hub and driving force of the development in the eastern Indonesia.
Currently, JICA is still conducting 11 projects worth about Rp 7 billion (US$767,000), two of which are expected to be completed by the end of this month.
One of the projects is being conducted in cooperation with local non-governmental organization Setia Kawan Raharja foundation (SEKAR) in Jakarta. It aims to help street children to break out of the cycle of poverty by teaching them to make handicrafts from recycled paper.
Every year, JICA, a nonprofit governmental organization that is committed to development work in poor nations, assists at least 10 projects in cooperation with NGOs under its CEP program. Each project could cost up to $100,000 a year.(06)