Humanitarian Assistance for Disaster Relief to Assist Drought Afflicted People in Cuba

November 6, 1998

  1. On November 6 (Fri.), the Government of Japan decided to extend emergency and humanitarian aid of one billion yen to the Government of the Republic of Cuba upon its request to assist the drought afflicted people and others in Cuba, and in response to a request from the World Food Programme (WFP: Secretariat in Rome), to allocate US$ 770,000 from Japan's WFP International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) for the emergency and humanitarian food assistance to Cuba.

  2. Since last year, Cuba has been facing a serious food shortage caused by drought which is attributed to El Niño. The damage is especially severe in five eastern provinces (Holguin, Las Tunas, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo). Those provinces are suffering the worst drought in 35 years. It is expected that 608,562 tons (more than 267 million dollars' worth) of harvest will be lost in the whole country. A hurricane disaster at the end of September dealt another severe blow to the farmland and worsened the food shortage.
    Under such circumstances, the Government of Cuba has requested emergency disaster assistance from Japan. The WFP also issued an emergency appeal to the international community including Japan in September to relieve the country's serious food shortage.

  3. The Government of Japan has decided to extend the two kinds of assistance from emergency and humanitarian viewpoint and in consideration of the seriousness of Cuba's food situation. The fund extended from Japan to the Government of Cuba will be used to purchase food or other urgently needed materials. The allocation through the WFP will be utilized for covering part of the expenses for the organization to provide the drought afflicted people with wheat.

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