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Japan Supports WFP Projects Empowering Rural Kyrgyz Women

BISHKEK – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a US$490,000 contribution from the Government of Japan to support women-led businesses and smallholder women farmers in the Kyrgyz Republic.

WFP will use this donation to support about 2,000 vulnerable families, primarily women-headed households, with technical assistance and training to help build income-generating assets, create small businesses and strengthen their agricultural skills. Participants will also receive training in marketing, business and financial management, and nutritional awareness.

The grant is part of Japan’s three-year commitment to extend women’s empowerment initiatives around the world that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made at the United Nations General Assembly in 2013. Abe emphasized his country’s intention to further strengthen cooperation with the international community and assistance to create what he called "A Society In Which Women Shine".

“The Government of Japan prioritises women’s empowerment as a motor for economic growth, and we are honoured to support the initiative of WFP Kyrgyz Republic to enhance the role of rural women in economic development. Besides, the Government of Japan intends to host the World Assembly for Women (WAW! Tokyo 2015) in August 2015 on the initiative of the Prime Minister Abe,” said the Ambassador of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic, Takayuki Koike.

WFP will implement the programme in Kyrgyzstan’s rural provinces of Naryn, Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken and Talas. The project aims to empower women both socially and economically as well as boost human capital by providing skills training and improved knowledge and practices related to nutrition.

“This contribution will allow WFP to continue to invest in long-term development initiatives to promote rural women’s empowerment in local communities,” said WFP Kyrgyz Republic Country Director Ram Saravanamuttu. “We believe that rural women are key to the success of the Kyrgyz economy, and WFP will continue to support efforts that seek to ensure rural women reach their full potential.”

WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic has been implementing activities to increase income-generating opportunities for rural women since 2010. To date, more than 8,700 women-headed households have benefited from programmes focusing on livelihoods and small-scale agricultural production.

“New funding will allow WFP to build on the successes from past initiatives and introduce new methodologies to promote the capacities of vulnerable rural women,” Saravanamuttu said.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Elizabeth Zalkind, WFP/Bishkek, Tel:  +993 312 660033, Mob. +996 555 940 420