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Japanese Company Fuji Optical has started its next vision aid mission to Azerbaijan. Today, the team of the six optometrists, headed by the renowned Japanese scientist Dr. Akio Kanai, departs from Baku for Western regions of the country to conduct free of charge eye screening and eyeglasses distribution for internally displaced and vulnerable population of Agdam and Tartar.
Dr. Akio Kanai was a winner of the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award in 2006, which was presented as an official acknowledgement towards his continuous commitment to assist displaced people around the world and for being a generous private donor of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the last four decades. Since 1983, when the Company started its humanitarian activity among Indo-Chinese refugees in Thailand, Fuji Optical has donated more than 145 thousand pairs of eyeglasses to refugees, IDPs and other vulnerable people in six countries of Asia, Europe and Africa, conducted vision aid missions to four out of those countries through UNHCR. Azerbaijan is one those countries and this year it will be 11th such mission of the Fuji Optical Company to the country.
About 2 million USD has been spent by Fuji Optical to accomplish its humanitarian activity in Azerbaijan since 2005. Around 43 thousand pairs of high quality optic eyeglasses and other items have been brought to the country as in-kind donation to the UNHCR operations in Azerbaijan. In total, close to 20 thousand refugees, IDPs and other vulnerable people have benefited from the free of charge vision screening services facilitated by the UNHCR Representation in Azerbaijan together with the respective central and local authorities. This year, Fuji Optical has donated 4,000 pairs of eye-glasses and other vision and hearing aid items to UNHCR and targets to screen about 2,000 IDPs, refugees and other vulnerable people during the 10 days humanitarian mission.
The essence of the humanitarian undertakings of the Fuji Optical is not limited to providing sole humanitarian aid, but also demonstrating support towards the displacement challenge faced by Azerbaijan and the work of UNHCR. Since UNHCR is a specialized UN agency mandated to lead and co-ordinate international interventions for the protection and well-being of refugees and IDPs, it continues to raise awareness and facilitate all efforts aimed to support the displaced people in Azerbaijan.