WFP today welcomed an aid package totalling JPY 930 million (US$8 million) from the Government of Japan to assist millions of vulnerable people affected by conflict, natural disasters and HIV/AIDS in five African countries and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Japan’s partnership with us is vital to our efforts to halve the world’s proportion of hungry by 2015.
Mihoko Tamamura, Director of WFP Office in Japan
The contribution will buy cereals, pulses, fortified blended food and canned fish to support the vulnerable people affected by erratic rainfall, drought, HIV/AIDS and other threats in Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in Sierra Leone to rebuild their communities.
It will also reach needy people in the occupied Palestinian territory.
“WFP is deeply grateful for Japan’s continuing support to Africa and the oPt. It is proof of Japan’s growing leadership in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and human security,” said Mihoko Tamamura, Director of WFP Office in Japan.
“Japan’s partnership with us is vital to our efforts to halve the world’s proportion of hungry by 2015.”
WFP projects in Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe will receive JPY 200 million (US$1.7 million), JPY 100 million (US$0.9 million), JPY 150 million (US$1.3 million), and JPY 150 million (US$1.3 million), respectively.
Southern Africa remains in a state of chronic emergency caused by a deadly combination of the triple threat: HIV/AIDS, food insecurity and a weakened capacity for governance.
The region has nine of the ten highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world, making it the epicentre of the global HIV epidemic with 32 percent of people with HIV globally and 34 percent of AIDS deaths worldwide occurring in this region.
In addition, the region has the fastest growing number of orphans per capita with more than 3.3 million children having already lost one or both parents to the virus.
Southern Africa is entering another “lean season”; despite generally better harvests across the region in 2006, many households were unable to grow enough food for the year.
Others spent all their assets buying food or medicines and are struggling to feed themselves. They will go through a harsh period until April 2007 when the next harvest is expected.
JPY170 million (US$1.5 million) from the package will be allocated to Sierra Leone.
The country is undergoing a transition from conflict to peace, after a decade of civil war. The contribution will help IDPs, returnees and other vulnerable people in Sierra Leone get back on their feet and rebuild the country.
Outside Africa, Japan has allocated JPY 160 million (US$1.4 million) to support Palestinians affected by conflict, as part of Japan’s efforts to promote the Middle East peace process. The grant will be used to support non-refugee Palestinians, such as orphans, malnourished children, the elderly and the chronically ill.
So far this year, Japan has made donations to over 20 countries around the world. With the aid package announced today, the total contribution to WFP this year amounts to US$71.5 million (JPY8.3 billion).