“The new system will increase the quality of rehabilitation services, will facilitate access to the system by reducing implementation costs and introduce a single entry point system that will be fairer and more accurate,” said Romanian Labor Minister Mariana Campeanu at the June 7 announcement at the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection in Bucharest.
Campeanu said a pilot project using the new services model will initially be rolled out in three or four counties.
Countries who were both borrowing members of the World Bank and signatory countries of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, such as Romania, were eligible to receive grants.
There are about 690,000 people living with disabilities in Romania, according to Government figures, of which 97.5% live independently or are cared for by their families and 2.5% that are in public residential care for adults with disabilities.
Japan's Ambassador to Romania, Natsuo Amemiya, said the project is aimed at improving the policies and institutional framework for the disabled and was selected from a large number of projects worldwide that requested funding.
“We are extremely grateful to Japan's Government,” said World Bank Country Manger for Romania and Hungary, Francois Rantrua. Rantrua pointed out that during his career he has had the chance to be involved in many projects that were generously funded by Japan.
Japan has provided development assistance to Romania for projects supporting the energy, agriculture, healthcare, and education sectors, and in 2010 helped finance the subway line connecting Otopeni Airport to central Bucharest.