Japan-WFP Cooperation in the Field of Nutrition
June 3, 2013
On May 31, Ms. Toshiko Abe, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with Ms. Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the two parties affirmed the following.1. Awareness concerning the importance of nutrition is spreading in the international community. Currently there are 165 million children suffering from stunting in the world, and in Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, 40% of children under the age of five are afflicted with this. The main cause of stunting is malnutrition during the 1,000 days from the time of conception to two years of age, and this can irreversibly affect a child’s physical and cognitive development. Good nutrition is therefore essential for nurturing future generations.2. On May 17, Japan’s Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy was issued, and the international preservation of health has been set forth as a key issue for Japanese diplomacy. As a background to this, there have been delays in the achievement of targets related to maternal and child health, which are part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions, and there is a need to address the improvement of nutrition in conjunction with other issues such as measures against infectious diseases.3. In light of the above-mentioned trends related to nutrition issues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and WFP affirmed the followings points.(1) The two parties reaffirm the importance of collaborative efforts to address nutrition issues.(2) Japan and WFP will expand its partnership to jointly scale up nutrition in Africa, with a view to achieving more effective support. Japan will promptly begin discussions with WFP and other related parties regarding specific collaborative projects, and a pilot case will be launched before the end of this fiscal year.