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Japan support gives boost to food assistance for orphans and vulnerable children in Eswatini

MBABANE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes the Japanese Government contribution of US$ 500,000 that will enable WFP to provide food assistance to some 55,000 vulnerable children in Eswatini.

A ceremony was held today at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office to mark the contribution which will be used to purchase beans which, when cooked with rice or maize meal, will form part of nutritious meals served to children aged between two and eight years in 1,700 Neighbourhood Care Points supported by WFP across the country. The ceremony was officiated by Eswatini Deputy Prime Minister, Senator Themba Masuku.


“This donation is a crucial step towards meeting the nutritional needs of boys and girls in Neighbourhood Care Points, many of whom live with relatives or in child-headed households,” said WFP Eswatini Country Representative Cissy Byenkya.


Japan is a solid supporter of WFP, having donated US$ 4.5 million to WFP operations in Eswatini since 2017. The ceremony was attended by Japanese delegates from the Embassy in Pretoria, including Chargé d'Affaires Mr Kawaguchi and Second Secretary Ms Nakashima.


“This vital assistance to the people of Eswatini, and partnering with WFP illustrates Japan’s commitment towards a world with zero hunger and ending malnutrition in all its forms,” said Chargé d'Affaires Mr Kawaguchi. “Neighbourhood Care Points allow children to access early education and basic care services, which are necessary for their development.”


The support comes at a crucial time, as food insecurity levels in the country remain high and particularly affect the most vulnerable, including children. Results from the latest Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA) of April 2019 predict that some 200,000 people will need immediate food assistance, with the figure expected to grow to 232,000 towards the end of 2019.


The Government of Japan has been funding food assistance for developing countries since 1968 and is a long-standing partner of WFP in Eswatini.


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