Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
MASVINGO – At a ceremony in Masvingo today, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) thanked the Ambassador of Japan, Yonezo Fukuda, for his country’s donation of US$4.2 million to boost food and nutrition security among some of the poorest families in Zimbabwe.
Japan's donation is in response to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) Rural Livelihoods Report 2013, according to which, some 2.2 million people are unlikely to be able to meet their daily food needs between January and March 2014, due to an unusually poor harvest in 2012/13. Japan's contribution will help to fund various WFP initiatives including current programmes to assist vulnerable rural families until the next harvest, in addition to supporting malnourished HIV/TB patients, and women and children.
"We would like to express our gratitude for the support received from Japan," said Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Tongai Muzenda. "This support will go a long way towards complementing government efforts to meet the needs of the most vulnerable."
WFP and its partners are currently assisting some 1.2 million vulnerable people through food distributions and cash transfers.
"This contribution reaffirms Japan's willingness to support crucial interventions not only for ensuring human security, which we greatly emphasise, but also for meeting basic human needs such as adequate nutrition," said Ambassador Yonezo Fukuda at the handover ceremony. "Our support is designed to sustain the most vulnerable so as to provide fulfilling lives."
WFP requires US$80 million to implement its operations for the next six months in Zimbabwe, of which US$60 million has yet to be resourced.
"This contribution is important to WFP, coming at a time when our operation in Zimbabwe is facing a considerable funding shortage," said WFP Country Director Sory Ouane.
The Government of Japan has been funding food assistance to developing countries since 1968. In the past decade, Japan has contributed more than US$35 million to WFP's operations in Zimbabwe.
# # #
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
For more information please contact: (Email addresses:firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com) Tomson Phiri, WFP/Harare, Tel. +263 4 799215, Mob. +263 772 198 619 Yoshitake Tsusuki, Embassy of Japan, Tel: +263 4250025-7, Mob: +263 712 201 574