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Japan Contributes US$12 Million through WFP & UNICEF to Central African Republic

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BANGUI - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have welcomed a contribution of US$12 million from the Government of Japan to provide vital humanitarian relief to the most vulnerable people living in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.).

WFP received US$6.5 million to deliver life-saving food to 123,000 people in dire need of assistance due to conflict in C.A.R. The contribution will be used to purchase rice, pulses and oil for distributions to displaced people, severely food-insecure families and moderately food-insecure households in conflict-affected zones; it will also enable WFP to purchase corn soya blend flour for programmes that help prevent malnutrition.

WFP also received US$1 million towards the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operation in C.A.R. In 2015, some 20,000 passengers and 400 tons of cargo are scheduled to be transported to 28 different locations by three UNHAS aircraft.

“We are highly grateful to the people and Government of Japan, for their welcome contribution and continued commitment to providing humanitarian assistance to families in C.A.R who cannot obtain enough food,” said Mustapha Darboe, WFP Country Director a.i. in C.A.R. “The contribution to UNHAS supports the entire humanitarian community in reaching remote and dangerous locations in order to respond effectively to an extremely challenging situation across the country.”

UNICEF received a contribution of US$4.5 million from the Government of Japan which will support critical projects to restore health services, and to protect children and women affected by more than two years of violence. In particular, the funding will help re-build health and vaccination services country-wide and prevent a cholera outbreak in endemic areas. A large investment will also be made to support survivors of gender-based violence, provide psycho-social support to 5,000 children and reintegrate 1,000 children released from armed groups.

“We are grateful to the Government of Japan, which has been working hand-in-hand with UNICEF since before the crisis in C.A.R,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Representative in C.A.R. “C.A.R is one of the toughest places in the world to be a child, and we need to invest in the country now to secure a peaceful future for these children. The people of C.A.R. are lucky to have friends in Japan who are committed to achieving this goal.”

“Four years ago, the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused unprecedented damage to the northern regions of Japan. We witnessed ‘solidarity’ as many messages of sympathy and various forms of support came from the international community. We expressed our sincere appreciation and now it is time for Japan to show its solidarity through this humanitarian aid to the people of C.A.R., who are suffering severely.” said Kazuhiko Fujita, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Japan.

Apart from the support to WFP and UNICEF, the Government of Japan is mobilising US$9.85 million for C.A.R. through other international organisations such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen) and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

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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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.

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For more information, please contact:
Hiroko Konno, Embassy of Japan/Yaounde, Tel +237 2 2220 6202, info@yd.mofa.go.jp
Sayaka Sato, WFP/Bangui, Mobile +236 72 18 76 97, sayaka.sato@wfp.org
Ryoko Ogawa, UNICEF/Bangui, Mobile +236 70 00 97 50, rogawa@unicef.org