Food Aid through the World Food Programme (WFP)

October 31, 2006

  1. The Government of Japan has decided to extend food aid totaling 490 million yen through the World Food Programme (WFP) to countries and regions which need food as they are in a fragile transitional stage from conflicts with a view to realizing regional peace and stability. Notes to this effect were exchanged on October 31 (Tue) in Rome between Mr. Yuji Nakamura, Japanese Ambassador to Italy, and Mr. James Morris, Executive Director of the WFP.

    The breakdown of this assistance is as follows:
    (1) For conflict-afflicted persons in the Mindanao region of the Philippines (140 million yen)
    (2) For internally displaced persons and others in Afghanistan (350 million yen)
  2. In the Mindanao region of the Philippines, a 30-year-long conflict worsened the poverty and made the Philippines less attractive as an investment destination with its image of instability, thus hampering the economic development of the whole of the Philippines. Japan therefore announced a "Support Package for Peace and Stability in Mindanao" in December 2002 and has supported the policy of the Government of the Philippines based on its priority to achieve development and stability in the Mindanao region. Moreover, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an anti-government group, and the Government of the Philippines are now negotiating peace on the Mindanao conflict. WFP, in response to a request by the Government of the Philippines, started an emergency food distribution program in the Mindanao region in June this year targeting 2.1 million people including returnees, ex-soldiers and conflict-afflicted persons. In the last fiscal year, Japan contributed 140 million yen to the food distribution program. As the food shortage is, however, still prevalent, Japan, which has consistently supported peace efforts in the Mindanao region, has decided to make a contribution to alleviating the food shortage and also to the political and economic stability of the region by continuing to provide help to the program.
  3. After the terrorist attack in the US on September 11, 2001, Afghanistan's Taliban regime collapsed and the country started to make efforts toward peace and reconstruction. To alleviate the food shortage, WFP has been distributing food among 120,000 internally-displaced persons and 1.5 million socially weak persons such as primary-level children and tuberculosis patients. Recognizing that the peace and stability of Afghanistan is an important issue for the stability of the world and therefore for the security and prosperity of Japan, Japan has decided to continue to support WFP's food distribution program. In the last fiscal year, Japan extended assistance of 350 million yen for that program.

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