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Japanese business giant ties up with WFP to mobilise support to end child hunger

JAPANESE BUSINESS GIANT TIES UP WITH WFP TO MOBILIZE SUPPORT TO END CHILD HUNGER

YOKOHAMA - The Japan Association for WFP (JAWFP) announced today that one of the most prominent and respected business leaders in Japan, Uichiro Niwa, Chairman of the Board, ITOCHU Corporation, is to become Chairman of the Executive Board of JAWFP.

Niwa will give strong support to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its friendship association in Japan, JAWFP. On his initiative, the inaugural meeting of the JAWFP Council - a governing body of JAWFP - was held in Tokyo today, crystallizing the strengthened partnership between WFP and the Japanese corporate community.

"I would like to play a catalyst role to mobilize support from the Japanese business community and civil society to wipe out child hunger from the world," said Niwa. "Participation by private companies in the fight against hunger will help enhance motivation and commitment of their staff members and employees."

JAWFP is a non-profit organization, which was set up in 1999 to assist WFP in advocacy and private-sector fundraising in Japan. Niwa hopes to enhance the activities of NGOs in Japanese society through his new role as chairman of JAWFP.

"In the US, non-profit organizations are essential in society, providing jobs to as many as 10 million people. From the economic and employment related point of view as well, it is vital to encourage activities of non-profit organizations in Japan," he said.

"We are tremendously grateful to Mr. Niwa for lending his support to wiping out child hunger," said WFP Deputy Executive Director, John Powell, who is in Japan to attend the inaugural meeting of the JAWFP Council. "Hunger claims lives of some six million children every year - that's one child dying every five seconds. This is a landmark event for building a partnership with the Japanese private sector to ensure that no child goes hungry."

Some 50 prominent companies and business leaders, including Dentsu, Fuji Television, Itochu Corporation, Showa Shell, and Takashimaya Department Store attended today's inaugural meeting of the JAWFP Council.

The Council will rally support for the private fundraising activities of JAWFP through various events and programmes, capitalizing on the expertise and the networks of member corporations, organizations and individuals.

JAWFP will also provide a number of opportunities for participants and participating companies to contribute to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of the Council member companies. JAWFP also plans field visits by Council members to WFP's humanitarian operations to maximize synergy between WFP and the Council.

On the web:
For news on WFP's activities around the world, visit our web site at www.wfp.org.

For more information please contact:

Kaoru Nemoto
WFP/Japan
Tel: +81 3 5766 5364
Mob: +81 90 9844 9990