WFP has welcomed an announcement by the Government of Japan to donate US$4.2 million (JPY490 million) to projects assisting a total of 10 million people in Afghanistan and the Philippines (Mindanao).
Historically, Japan has always been one of WFP’s top donors
“WFP is deeply grateful for Japan’s continuing support. This is a major step towards achieving human security in countries in transition from conflict to peace,” said Mihoko Tamamura, Director of WFP’s office in Japan.
“This contribution will be extremely valuable in helping fellow Asians get back on their feet and consolidate peace.”
A total of US $3 million (JPY350 million) from the package will be allocated to Afghanistan.
With this, WFP will purchase 4,850 metric tonnes of wheat which will be distributed to internally displaced persons (IDPs), vulnerable groups including TB patients, school children and villages making efforts to rebuild their communities.
In July 2006, a serious drought prompted the government of Afghanistan and UN agencies to issue a joint appeal to avoid an imminent food crisis.
Approximately 1.7 million people are affected by the drought, in addition to 6.5 million Afghans who regularly struggle to feed their families.
Japan’s aid comes at a crucial moment, as heavy snow will soon block overland access to millions of food-insecure people in mountainous areas this winter.
This Japanese donation builds upon the already pivotal role played by the country in building peace in Afghanistan.
Recovering from war
As co-chair, together with the government of Afghanistan and the United Nations, Tokyo hosted a conference on consolidation of peace in Afghanistan on 5 July, 2006.
Japan’s donation to WFP will reinforce Food-For-Work and Food-For-Training projects which create vital assets for communities recovering from war.
In the Philippines, US$1.2 million (JPY140 million) will be granted to support 2.1 million people in Mindanao, which has been ravaged by three decades of civil war.
The contribution will provide 2,000 tonnes of nutritionally fortified foods and 120 tonnes of pulses for people affected by the conflict.
WFP re-established its presence in the Philippines earlier this year to support the ongoing peace process in Mindanao.
The agency focuses on providing assistance to areas affected by the conflict between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in areas where there are large numbers of internally displaced persons and high rates of malnutrition.
Through WFP’s projects, Japan’s aid to Mindanao will contribute to the resolution of the conflict by assisting the resettlement of returnees, ex-combatants and victims of the conflict.
Historically, Japan has always been one of WFP’s top donors.The aid package announced today reaffirms its close cooperation with WFP in according to the basic policy principles of Japanese overseas development assistance: human security and peace-building.