TOKYO – On her first trip to Japan as the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin this week welcomed the continued commitment by Japan – including the Japanese government, business, non-governmental organizations and citizens – to the fight against hunger.
During a three-day visit, Cousin met with the country’s top leaders including Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano, and Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka, and discussed strategic partnerships in addressing hunger, food and nutrition security and poverty, and in building resilience. Cousin praised Japan’s leadership on peace, stability, and promoting the concept of human security – which focuses on the protection and empowerment of individuals.
“It was an honour and privilege to thank the government and the people of Japan in person for their commitment to WFP’s work in saving and changing people’s lives,” said Cousin. “Even amidst the tragic loss from the earthquake and tsunami last year, Japan did not waver in its support for the hungry poor across the globe.”
“Japan’s commitment to the world’s hunger needs is extraordinary,” Cousin added.
Her lecture, entitled “Fighting Hunger Worldwide,” was attended by Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako and an audience comprising diplomats, representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and private companies, university teachers, students, and individuals.
Japan has been consistently among the top donors to WFP. In 2011, contributions from the Japanese government and private sector amounted to a total of US$ 290 million, which have been utilized in providing assistance and hope to the millions in over 30 countries.
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Yuko Yasuda, WFP/Tokyo, Tel. +81 (0)3 5766 5364, Mob. +81 (0)90 9844 9990
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634