NEW CONTRIBUTION ASSURES JAPAN'S CONTINUED SUPPORT TO TAJIKISTAN
DUSHANBE - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a cash contribution of US$950,000 (JPY100 million) from the Japanese Government to assist vulnerable and food insecure households in Tajikistan.
This donation, approved by the Japanese cabinet on 18 March 2005, is part of an aid package of US$19 million from the Japanese Government to assist refugees, internally displaced persons and victims of natural disasters and poverty in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
"WFP is sincerely grateful for Japan's continuing support. It is a major step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and human security," said WFP Executive Director James Morris. "WFP's alliance with the Government of Japan is stronger than ever, and is vital to our efforts to halve the world's hungry by 2015."
The donation comes at a crucial moment for WFP's operations in Tajikistan, which is ranked as one of the poorest countries in Central Asia. Funding shortfalls are forcing WFP to suspend its general food distribution to 200,000 beneficiaries, and to scale down other activities by almost 80 percent to concentrate scarce resources on school feeding, nutrition and health activities. The funds will be used to buy 2,172 metric tons of fortified wheat flour from Kazakhstan, contributing to the regional economy.
Historically, Japan has been one of WFP's top donors. In 2004, it gave US$136 million (approximately JPY14 billion). In Tajikistan, Japan is the second largest donor to WFP. So far, Japan has given a total of US$6,143,316 for the current two-year relief operation, which is equivalent to 8 percent of total requirements. To date, 10,844 metric tons of wheat flour and 1,168 metric tons of yellow split peas were received in the country.
"Tens and thousands of Tajiks living in impoverished rural areas have benefited from the Japanese contribution," said Ismail Omer, WFP's Country Director in Tajikistan.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency; each year, WFP provides food aid to an average of 90 million people, including 56 million hungry children, in more than 80 countries.
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