Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2009

(3) Food

Accompanying rising food prices in 2008, the threat of starvation and poverty grew in many developing countries, and social unrest spread. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the number of undernourished people is estimated to reach about 1,020 million in 2009, and the goal of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015 set forth in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) moved farther away. The need for food supplies is increasing due to factors such as conflicts, natural disasters, and the occurrence of the financial and economic crisis. Furthermore, there is a need for multifaceted policies, such as ensuring social safety nets, improving nutrition, and improving the supply and demand balance through increasing food production.

<Japan's Efforts>

Based on the current situation, Japan provides food assistance. In FY2008, Japan gave support totaling ¥16.34 billion in 24 bilateral food assistance projects. In terms of multilateral food assistance, Japan provides food mainly through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for emergency food assistance, the promotion of education opportunities, and supporting regional social independence. In FY2008, Japan contributed a total of approximately ¥26 billion to WFP projects.

For Japan's efforts in regard to agriculture, see page 47.

Project to Support Strengthening the Development of Information on Food Security in Asia

Japan in the past has contributed to food security in the ASEAN region through the development of information networks among ASEAN countries and the improvement of statistical data on food and agriculture. Currently Japan holds regional training and regional workshops in regard to the development of production forecast information and so forth. Japan also promotes technical support for least developed countries by relatively advanced developing countries of the region in order to reduce disparities within the region. Japan has abundant experience and know-how in regard to the development of production forecast information and so on, and these efforts can be expected to lead to the faster and more accurate grasping and monitoring, and strengthening of food security in the ASEAN region.

Photo: WFP