RAMALLAH – The Government of Japan has announced a JPY 350 million (approximately US$3.2 million) contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) that will provide six months of food assistance for to 52,000 of the most vulnerable non-refugee Palestinians living in Gaza.
Japan’s contribution will allow WFP to provide families with monthly food assistance that includes wheat flour and vegetable oil enriched with minerals and micronutrients in addition to pulses and iodized salt. Recipient families, comprised mostly of women and children, are among the poorest in Gaza and depend on the Ministry of Social Development Social Safety Nets assistance programme, which includes food provided by WFP.
WFP will also use the contribution to buy Japanese-produced, high-quality canned tuna, which is an excellent source of protein and micronutrients such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron. WFP will store part of the purchase of canned tuna as a contingency stock in case of an emergency.
Ambassador of Japan to Palestine Takeshi Okubo, Minister of Social Development Ibrahim Al-Shaer and WFP Representative and Country Director Daniela Owen signed the contribution agreement yesterday in Ramallah.
“WFP would like to thank the Government of Japan for providing critical food assistance to the most impoverished residents of Gaza,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Daniela Owen. “With so much suffering, compounded by an energy crisis and its devastating impact on basic services, WFP food assistance is one thing the people of Gaza can count on. We greatly appreciate Japan’s support to make this assistance possible.”
Japan’s support also enables WFP to invest in the local economy through local purchases and cash and vouchers that people can redeem in local shops. Since 2011, WFP has injected more than US$242 million into the Palestinian economy through its local food purchases and use of electronic vouchers.
“The Government of Japan has extended this donation to WFP to prevent malnutrition and hunger in Palestine and help ensure that all Palestinians have physical, social and economic access to their daily food needs for an active and healthy life,” said Ambassador Okubo. “We hope that this donation will contribute to alleviating poverty and to achieving economic and social stability in Gaza.”
Japan’s generous and predictable contributions have been significant for WFP to maintain assistance to the poorest non-refugee Palestinians, particularly in Gaza where food insecurity affects four out of ten people and unemployment and poverty are rampant.
“We are grateful to the Japanese people and government for their support that will undoubtedly enable WFP to work with the Palestinian community to improve nutrition and build resilience, especially in Gaza,” said Palestinian Authority Minister of Social Development Ibrahim Al-Shaer. “We also value the continued support of WFP and our partnership, which has a substantial positive impact on people facing economic hardship.”
The donation brings Japan’s total contributions to WFP programmes in Palestine since 2005 to nearly US$48 million, placing Japan among WFP’s top donors in the country as well as one of the largest donors to WFP globally.
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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 80 countries.
For more information, please visit: www.wfp.org or Facebook, or on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena
For more information please contact:
Yasmine Abuelassal, WFP/Jerusalem, Mob. +972 546773170, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuki Igarashi, Second Secretary, Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, email: email@example.com