Exchange of Notes on Grant Aid (Food Aid) through the World Food Programme (WFP) for the Republic of Malawi

March 14, 2008

  1. The Government of Japan has decided to extend grant aid (food aid) of 420 million yen, through the World Food Programme (WFP), to the Republic of Malawi which has vulnerable groups (HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients, women and children, those afflicted by disasters such as flood) suffering from chronic food shortage for such reasons as poverty. Notes on this aid were exchanged on March 14 (Fri) (same day local time) in Rome between Mr. Yuji Nakamura, Japanese Ambassador to Italy, and Mr. John M. Powell, Deputy Executive Director, of the WFP.
  2. The main points of the grant aid are as follows:
    • (1) Content of the grant aid
      Funding necessary to purchase and deliver rice and maize will be provided to the WFP to improve the food situation of the vulnerable groups in the Republic of Malawi.
    • (2) Necessity of the grant aid
      Malawi ranks 166th among 177 countries for poverty according to the United Nations Human Development Index, and half of its population is below the poverty line. Because the infrastructure of Malawi's agriculture, in which about 90% of its labor force is engaged, is insufficient, and is vulnerable to such natural disasters as drought and flood, its productivity is low. In addition, the decrease of the workforce due to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in recent years has become a factor affecting agricultural output. The infection rate of HIV/AIDS in Malawi is 14% and the number of children orphaned by AIDS is said to be 500,000. The WFP has been conducting a food distributing program for the vulnerable groups of Malawi, such as women, children and those affected by natural disaster and AIDS, and has posted as its goal in 2008 to benefit 1.22 million persons. Incidentally, Southern Africa sustained damage from torrential rain and floods from December 2007 to February 2008, and in Malawi as many as 140,000 people were afflicted (an emergency appeal by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on February 13). Assistance to Malawi is therefore urgently needed.
    • (3) Effect of the grant aid
      Taking account of the situation of Malawi's vulnerable groups, Japan will carry out this food aid in response to the request for assistance of the WFP and from a humanitarian viewpoint. It is expected that this food aid will lead to easing of the food shortage of Malawi's vulnerable groups.

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