Food Aid through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

March 19, 2007


1.  The Government of Japan has decided to extend food aid of five million yen for the Palestine refugees, through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  Notes to this effect were exchanged on March 18 (Sun)(March 18 local time) in Amman, Jordan, between Mr. Shigenobu Kato, Japanese Ambassador to Jordan, and Ms. Karen Koning Abuzayd, Commissioner-General of UNRWA.

2.  The Middle East Peace Process is at a critical moment such as the forming of a Palestinian national unity government. In such circumstances, Japan decided this food aid in response to a request from UNRWA to improve the dire humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.  UNRWA is planning to distribute wheat flour and lentils to about 350,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

3.  Japan’s recent assistance to the Palestinians will come to a total of 140 million yen (12.6 million US dollars) including this Food Aid to improve the dire humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories and to support President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in his effort for peace.  Japan will continue to engage positively in the efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East through measures to promote confidence building among the parties concerned and political dialogues with the two sides in addition to assistance to the Palestinians.  On March 14 (Wed), Japan hosted the ministerial-level startup meeting for the Four-Party Consultative Unit in Tokyo for the concept of the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” which was attended by representatives of Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

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