RAMALLAH – The Government of Japan today renewed its commitment to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), contributing US$3.4 million (JPY 340 million) in support of the most vulnerable, food-insecure Palestinians in the West Bank.
Japan’s generous support will enable WFP to provide diverse and nutritious food to around 122,000 of the poorest Palestinians in the West Bank for three months.
“On behalf of the Palestinians living in the West Bank, we are grateful to Japan for their generosity and longstanding support for WFP,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Mr. Pablo Recalde. “ Meeting the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Palestinians would not be possible without the commitment and backing of valuable donors such as the Government of Japan.”
Japan’s donation was confirmed with an agreement that was signed today at a ceremony in Ramallah attended by Ambassador of Japan to the Palestinian Authority H.E. Junya Matsuura, Minister of Social Affairs Mr. Kamal Shirafi as well as WFP’s Pablo Recalde.
“Japan believes the fight against hunger is winnable and we believe that WFP is playing a major role in breaking the cycle of hunger by promoting effective food systems”, H.E. Ambassador Junya Matsuura said.
In 2012, 34 percent of Palestinian households – approximately 1.6 million people – were found to be food insecure and West Bank food insecurity levels were 12 percent higher than 2011 levels.
Palestinian Authority Minister of Social Affairs Mr. Kamal al-Shirafi said during the ceremony: “In light of the financial shortfalls experienced by WFP, and the rise in the rate of food-insecure households to one-third of the Palestinian population, we look forward to further cooperation and support from the Government of Japan”.
Japan’s contribution will allow WFP to continue investing in the local economy through direct purchases which help to build resilience. WFP invested approximately US$100 million in the Palestinian economy over the past three years through local purchases and its food voucher programme.
Japan is one of WFP’s most generous donors. Since 2005, Japan has contributed more than US$25 million to WFP to help food insecure Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
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For more information please contact:
Rosella Fanelli, WFP/Jerusalem, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 0546772210
Hideki Kamiya, Second Secretary, Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority; email@example.com