Sudan + 5 more

Major contribution shows Japan's growing role in fighting hunger in Africa

Yokohama - The United Nations World Food Programme today welcomed an aid package of JPY 1.5 billion (US$13.6 million) from the Japanese Government to assist millions of people affected by conflict and natural disasters in some of the priority areas of Africa.

The aid will help support returning refugees and internally displaced persons, victims of erratic rainfall and drought and people affected by HIV/AIDS in Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, and Mozambique.

"WFP is deeply grateful for Japan's support to Africa. It is a proof of Japan's commitment and growing leadership role in wiping out hunger from Africa," said WFP Deputy Executive Director, Sheila Sisulu, who is currently visiting Japan. "One African in three is malnourished, and the situation is getting worse. This is a concrete step to achieve 'human security' by taking a 'food first' approach to helping the poor in Africa - make the first priority proper nutrition."

A total of JPY 530 million (US$4.8 million) out of the package is for southern Sudan, where an increasing number of people displaced by decades of civil war are returning home. This follows the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement in January. WFP is helping returnees get on their feet, ensuring they have enough to eat while they rebuild their communities. The Japanese donation will help ensure a smooth integration of returnees and promote piece-building efforts.

In east Africa, JPY 220 million (US$2 million) is allocated to Uganda, where more than 1.4 million displaced people are dependent on food aid, while JPY 250 million (US$2.3 million) will go to Kenya to alleviate food shortages among some 1.6 million people affected by irregular rainfalls. In Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique, people affected by erratic rainfall and HIV/AIDS will receive JPY 100 million (US$900,000), JPY 200 million (US$ 1.8 million) and JPY 200 million (US$ 1.8 million), respectively, and the grant will be used to procure food such as wheat, maize, and rice.

The G-8 Summit held in Gleneagles, Scotland, earlier this month came out with a pledge to increase aid to Africa. Japan declared it would double its aid to Africa in the next three years as well as increase the volume of its official development assistance (ODA) by US$ 10 billion in aggregate over the next five years. The aid package announced today is a concrete measure towards achieving this, as well as the Millennium Development Goals. It also contributes to achieving "human security" and "peace building", the basic policy principles of Japanese overseas development assistance.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: each year we give food aid to an average of 90 million people, including 56 million hungry children, in 80 countries.

Please contact Kaoru Nemoto, Public Information Officer, WFP Office in Japan (mobile: +81-90-9844-9990; e-mail: for more information.