Actress Misako Konno and Japanese retailer MUJI support UNDP’s efforts to “build back better" in Nepal

Jun 11, 2015

Actress Misako Konno and Japanese retailer Ryohin Keikaku, commonly known as MUJI, will donate 1 million and 3 million yen, respectively, to help the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) respond to the Nepal earthquake. The announcement of the donations today – approximately $32,500 – comes just over a month after a devastating 7.8 magnitude quake hit the country, resulting in the deaths of more than 8,000 people and leaving millions homeless.

Nearly 3 million people have been displaced, many of whom are living in tents and open areas, and are in desperate need of help. The donations will be used for UNDP Nepal’s intervention to support early recovery of the affected and vulnerable communities including over 12,000 micro-entrepreneurs who lost their houses and livelihood opportunities due to the earthquakes. The affected communities need urgent assistance to get back on their feet and strengthen their capacity to cope with similar disasters in the future.

“UNDP has been actively working to help the people of Nepal, whose lives have been affected by this terrible earthquake,” said Ms. Konno, who is also a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. “By working on early recovery efforts such as the removal and management of debris, and providing jobs for people, UNDP is helping Nepal build back better while making communities more resilient.”

In a statement released today, global retailer Ryohin Keikaku said it was pleased to support UNDP’s early recovery efforts.

“Having its headquarters in Japan, a country that has suffered from frequent earthquakes, we feel deep sympathy for the survivors in such a difficult situation. We therefore decided to make a donation to support early recovery efforts led by UNDP,” Kenji Takeuchi, Executive Officer of Ryohin Keikaku said. “We hope the private sector will also join forces and play an important role in speedy recovery in Nepal.”

Goodwill Ambassador Konno has been raising awareness about UNDP’s efforts to help people rebuild their lives, especially in rural areas of the Nepal, where most of the people affected by the earthquake live. She made her debut in 1979, appearing in various television programmes, movies and stage productions and is well-known in Japan, where she regularly delivers public lectures at schools and events advocating the importance of Japanese international cooperation.

Since becoming a Goodwill Ambassador in 1998, Ms. Konno has paid official visits to many countries to promote UNDP’s activities. She recently published a book of essays “La La La Shinzentaishi (Goodwill Ambassador),” and is the longest-serving UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.

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