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Japan Donates More Than US$5 million To Help WFP Support Disaster-Prone Communities

DHAKA – Today, the Government of Japan confirmed a contribution of US$5.46 million  (JP¥470 million / BDT42 crore) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) at a handover ceremony at the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives. The Government of Bangladesh supports the programme by matching Japan’s donation.

More than 400,000 people in the most disaster-prone upazilas in twelve of the poorest districts of Bangladesh will benefit from the Japanese contribution, which WFP will use to purchase 9,000 metric tons of cereals and 89 metric tons of canned fish.
The handover ceremony was attended by Honourable State Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanok, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh H.E. Shiro Sadoshima and WFP Representative to Bangladesh Christa Räder.

Ambassador Sadoshima remarked: “I visited several WFP project sites in the country and witnessed that this support programme has greatly contributed to improve the lives of people who have been affected by natural disasters and climate change, particularly for those who are socially and economically vulnerable. I strongly believe that this project will further improve their livelihoods and enhance their resilience.”

“The people and Government of Japan are an important development partner of Bangladesh”, Honourable State Minister Nanok said at the ceremony. “Japan has contributed siginificantly to infrastructure development, poverty alleviation and capacity building for Bangladeshi citizens.”

“Japan is a reliable and long-standing donor to WFP projects in Bangladesh and elsewhere”, Räder said. “Bangladesh is considered one of the countries most at-risk to the effects of climate change. Thanks to Japan’s on-going assistance, thousands of vulnerable households will be better protected from future shocks.”
In food and cash for work projects, communities come together to repair and reinforce embankments, raise roads, excavate canals and ponds and elevate the ground around their houses in order to protect their communities from flooding, water-logging and increasing salinity, and to boost agricultural production.
Throughout the rainy season, they participate in training sessions on disaster preparedness and response, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition. In exchange for their time and labour, all programme participants receive a nutritious food ration from WFP and the equivalent in cash from the Government of Bangladesh over a period of two years. The Local Government Engineering Department provides technical oversight of the projects.

The cereal purchased with the Japanese contribution, together with pulses and vitamin- fortified vegetable oil, will be given to women and men participating in food and cash for work projects. The canned fish, rich in protein and other essential nutrients, will be distributed to programme participant in areas where access to fish or other animal protein is difficult.

In a third programme year, WFP works with women from households who participated in food/cash for work in order to further strengthen their families’ resilience to future shocks.  The women learn about business development and entrepreneurship, identify activities that match their skills and local demand, and develop a business plan. They then receive a cash grant to invest, and a monthly allowance to help support their families while they focus on making their businesses successful.

Between 2007 and 2013, Japan has contributed a total of US$46 million (JP¥4,230 million) to WFP in Bangladesh, which has enabled WFP to support over 1.3 million people to enhance resilience to disasters and the effects of climate change and to improve maternal and child nutrition.

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For more information, please contact:

Christa Räder                  Ryoji Tsuge                                                       Cornelia Paetz
Representative                Head, Public Affairs & Cultural Section       Public Information
WFP Bangladesh            Embassy of Japan                                          WFP Bangladesh               
Tel: 918 3022                   Tel: 8810087, Ext: 150                                    Tel: 918 3022, Ext: 2164