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Food Aid to Refugees and Afflicted Persons in Africa, the Sudan and Kosovo

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News and Press Release
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The Government of Japan has decided to extend through the World Food Programme (WFP) food aid totaling 4,100 million yen to refugees and other afflicted persons in Africa, the Sudan and Kosovo, who are facing a severe food shortage because of civil war and other causes. Notes to this effect, covering three types of aid, were exchanged on December 14 (Tue) in Rome between Mr. Hiromoto Seki, Japanese Ambassador to Italy, and Ms. Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the WFP.
The breakdown of the food aid is as follows (types of food and value of the assistance in parentheses):
(1) For refugees and others in Africa
(a) Refugees and others in Rwanda, Burundi (Tanzania and Uganda) (beans, 500 million yen)
(b) Internally afflicted persons in Ethiopia (wheat, 350 million yen)
(c) Internally afflicted persons in Eritrea (wheat, 150 million yen)
(d) Internally afflicted persons in Somalia (maize, 400 million yen)
(e) Refugees and others of West Africa (in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana) (maize meal and beans, 700 million yen)
(f) Internally afflicted persons in the Democratic Republic of Congo (maize meal and beans, 200 million yen)
(g) Internally afflicted persons in Uganda (maize meal, 200 million yen)

(2) For internally afflicted persons in the Sudan (maize and sorghum, 1,000 million yen)

(3) For returnees and others in Kosovo (wheat flour, 600 million yen)

In Africa, social and economic life has been seriously affected by recurring civil war, drought and other calamities. Refugees and afflicted persons continue to suffer great hardship. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a total of about nine million refugees and others in the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes Region including Rwanda and Burundi, and other places, need the protection and assistance of UNHCR.

In the Sudan, the civil war that has continued for 15 years has made the domestic food situation deteriorate and has given rise to a large number of displaced persons who are being exposed to miserable conditions, including those suffering from malnutrition and starvation.

In the Kosovo province of the Republic of Serbia in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (New Yugoslavia), more than 800,000 refugees, at the peak, fled to the neighboring countries and more than 600,000 became internally displaced persons since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began air raids on Yugoslavia in March. Although most of these refugees have returned in the wake of the Yugoslav side's acceptance of a peace proposal in June, houses were destroyed and the returnees and internally displaced persons are still facing a grave food shortage.

As these refugees and afflicted persons who have lost their livelihood are facing serious food shortages, WFP has prepared an assistance programme for them and requested international support.

Taking into account the severe food shortage among these people, the Government of Japan has decided from a humanitarian point of view to provide through the WFP wheat, maize and other staples for the refugees and other afflicted persons in Africa, the Sudan and Kosovo.