THE World Food Programme (WFP) in Tanzania has received a contribution amounting to US dollars 500, 000 (about 1.2bn/) from the Japanese government for food assistance to 204, 000 refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) residing in Kigoma camps in the country.
Ambassador of Japan to Tanzania, Yasushi Misawa handed over the donation to the WFP Country Director and Representative, Sarah Gordon-Gibson.
When handing over the donation at his residence in Dar es Salaam, Ambassador Misawa said his country is a strong supporter of the philanthropic organisation worldwide.
He said Japan is grateful of its role in responding to needs of the vulnerable populations.
“Recently, I got honoured to present my credentials to President Samia Suluhu Hassan and I am pleased to assist Tanzania, where necessary. I am certain that the assistance will meet the urgent food needs of the vulnerable displaced people at a time of rapidly rising commodity prices and other significant challenges. Our government has been providing humanitarian assistances to developing countries since 1968 and it is a long partner of WFP in Tanzania,” he stated.
Highlighting on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 8th meeting which was held a week ago in Tunis and whereby Tanzania was represented by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, noted that it was a multilateral platform for the UN and other international organisations to mobilise global support for Africa’s development.
He added: “Our guiding principle has been “African ownership, international partnership, inclusivity and openness and as it was reported our Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasised that Japan would release US Dollars 4 billion in public and private financial contribution in promoting investment and co-financing of up to US dollars 5billion together with African Development Bank towards improving the lives of Africans.”
“On 5th July this year, the government of Japan provided some US dollars 68 million in assistance to 3 Middle East and 27 African countries including Tanzania through the WFP as part of a series of Japanese response to global food security.
“Even though we are facing various regional and global challenges affecting peace and stability in Africa, Tanzania has maintained its stability and promoted its economic growth for years, while extending support to refugees coming from neighbouring countries. We shall continue with our support, especially as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that is now celebrating its 60th anniversary of its operations in Tanzania.”
On her part, Ms Sarah noted that the contribution will be used to purchase 260 tonnes of beans locally for her organisation’s food basket, which consists of cereal, fortified wheat and soya blend with sugar known as super cereal, pulses, vegetable oil and salt.
“Sizeable funding shortages in recent years have forced WFP to reduce rations to the refugees at Nyagusu and Nduta Camps, sometimes to as little as two-thirds of their minimum daily caloric needs with ominous implications for health and wellbeing,” she added.
“WFP is grateful to Japan for this timely contribution which comes at a critical time given the challenging circumstances. It (contribution) will go a long way in investing in the Tanzanian economy through the local procurement of beans, which ultimately and quickly reach vulnerable refugee households.