Japan’s New Contribution Boosts UN World Food Programme Assistance In Gaza

RAMALLAH, October 7, 2015 (WAFA) – The Government of Japan has announced a $4 million (JPY 440,000 million) donation to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support the most vulnerable Palestinian families living in the Gaza Strip.

Japan’s contribution will enable WFP to provide fortified wheat flour to 92,000 of the poorest Palestinians for three months and purchase Japanese-produced, high-quality canned tuna.

This is a very good source of protein and micronutrients, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron and is a key commodity for WFP’s nutritious food rations. The canned tuna also has a long shelf-life, which allows WFP to store part of the purchase as a contingency stock in case of an emergency.

Daniela Owen, WFP Representative and Country Director said, “We are grateful for the continued commitment and support from the Government of Japan for food assistance to food-insecure Palestinians.”

“WFP and Japan have been partners in Palestine for over a decade and together we will continue to fight food insecurity in the future,” she added.

The new Japanese donation was confirmed with the signing of an agreement at a ceremony in Ramallah, attended by Ambassador of Japan to the Palestinian Authority Takeshi Okubo, Minister of Social Affairs Shawqi Al-Aissa, and Owen.

In the last ten years, Japan has donated more than $40 million to WFP’s programmes in Palestine, making Japan one of the top three donors here as well as one of the largest donors to WFP globally.

The generosity from the Government of Japan has allowed WFP to continue investing in the local economy. Since 2011, more than $170 million has been injected into the Palestinian economy through WFP’s local food purchases and electronic vouchers.

Ambassador Okubo said: “Japan believes the fight against hunger is winnable and we believe that WFP is playing a major role in breaking the cycle of hunger by promoting effective food systems. This project fits well the scope of securing human security which Japan has long sought for”.

Meanwhile, al-Aissa said: “This generous contribution from the Government of Japan to the poor people in Palestine, particularly in Gaza, reflects the strong historic relations between the people of Japan and the Palestinian people. We greatly appreciate this continued support for our partnership with the World Food Programme which impacts the lives of food insecure people”.