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WFP links up with Japanese businesses to wipe out child hunger

Yokohama - "This truly generous support from Japan and other countries as well as private companies and individuals would not let any child survivor of the tsunami die from hunger," said WFP Deputy Executive Director, John Powell, on his official visit to Japan. "We would like to call for equally generous help to 300 million children who suffer daily from chronic hunger. Of the 25,000 people who die every day from hunger and related causes, most are children," he said.

Private companies and individuals collectively provided 20 percent of the US$ 256 million food relief operation for tsunami survivors, a record in the agency's 40-plus years of existence.

"We had a wonderful conversation on partnering with Japanese businesses. Japanese corporations can play a key role in wiping out child hunger from our world," said Powell. Hunger claims lives of some 6 million children every year, or 1 child dies every five seconds from hunger and related causes. WFP estimates that with US$ 4.9 billion per year, all of the malnourished children and pregnant mothers who currently receive no assistance could be fed. "This is not much more than what donors - private and public - pledged for the tsunami relief and recovery effort".

On 25 January, Powell attended a meeting with a number of corporate leaders representing major Japanese companies in support of WFP and Japan Association for WFP. Prominent figures such as Mr. Uichiro Niwa, chairman of the board of Itochu Corporation, and Mr. Masahiko Kanie, President of Heinz Japan, will play a key role to concretize a plan of action in rallying support for WFP and JAWFP. "This was a landmark event for building partnerships with the Japanese private sector to ensure that no child goes hungry," said Powell.

JAWFP is WFP's support organization to assist WFP in advocacy and private fundraising in Japan and has obtained a legal status of Specified Non-Profit Organization (NPO) since 2001.

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For more information please contact:

Kaoru Nemoto,
WFP Japan,
Mob: +81 90 9844 9990