Food Aid for Palestine
March 17, 2006
- The Government of Japan has decided to extend food aid of a total of 660 million yen (approximately US$ 6 million) for Palestinian refugees and other Palestinian population through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
- On the visit of President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to Japan in May 2005, Japan informed him of its policy to give all possible support to his peace efforts, and announced its intention to provide approximately 100 million dollars for the immediate future. The food aid decided today is part of the assistance package. As a result of the Election for the Palestinian Legislative Council held on January 25, 2006, Hamas gained a majority and became the leading party. While Japan is paying close attention to see if the new Palestinian Authority to be formed will make efforts for promoting the peace process, Japan has decided to provide this humanitarian assistance from the viewpoint of preventing further deterioration of Palestinians' living condition and thus, strengthening peace-oriented public opinion.
- For Palestinian registered refugees, the Government of Japan has decided to provide food aid of 500 million yen (wheat flour and pulses) through UNRWA. Notes to this effect were exchanged on March 17 (Fri) at the UNRWA Headquarters between Mr. Matahiro Yamaguchi, Japanese Charge d'Affaires ad interim to Jordan, and Mrs. Karen Koning AbuZayd, Commissioner-General of UNRWA. For non-refugee Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Japan decided to extend 160 million yen in food aid through WFP. Notes to this effect were exchanged on March 17 (Fri) in Rome between Mr. Yuji Nakamura, Japanese Ambassador to Italy, and Mr. James Morris, Executive Director of WFP.
- UNRWA plans to distribute wheat flour and pulses purchased with this food aid to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, and WFP plans to distribute wheat flour to vulnerable people such as orphans, elderly people, undernourished children and physically weak people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is hoped that the food aid will alleviate food shortages of the Palestinian people and thus to contribute to advancing the Middle East peace process.
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