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Japan makes a major contribution to consolidation of peace in Sudan

WFP has welcomed a contribution of US$13 million from the Government of Japan to WFP’s emergency operation to assist the people of Sudan who have been affected by two decades of conflict.

WFP has welcomed a contribution of US$13 million from the Government of Japan to WFP’s emergency operation to assist the people of Sudan who have been affected by two decades of conflict.

It is a wonderful sign of Japan’s strong commitment to building peace and human security in Africa,
James Morris, Executive Director of WFP
The fund will be used to purchase approximately 14,000 metric tons of sorghum to feed 1.8 million people at serious risk of malnutrition in Darfur, the south and other regions for one month.

The beneficiaries include internally displaced persons (IDPs), returning refugees, and the most vulnerable groups.

Deeply grateful

“WFP is deeply grateful for Japan’s generous support. It is a wonderful sign of Japan’s strong commitment to building peace and human security in Africa,” said James Morris, Executive Director of WFP.

“This contribution will provide valuable humanitarian assistance in war-torn Darfur, and will also be of significant help for returnees in southern Sudan to rebuild the community and consolidate peace,” said Mihoko Tamamura, Director of WFP’s office in Japan.

In Sudan, where the conflict of more than two decades between the north and the south has left more than 1.5 million people dead and 4 million displaced, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was finally signed in January 2005.

Lives devastated

Unfortunately, the conflict in Darfur continues and security is worsening despite the Peace Agreement signed in May 2006.

The lives of almost 3 million people in Darfur have been devastated.

To support Sudan through this crucial period, WFP has dedicated almost one third of its annual budget to the country — making it the largest operation worldwide.

However, the agency requires approximately US$152 million to cover 150,000 tons of food by April 2007 and to allow for regular distribution and pre-positioning of four months’ of food ahead of next year’s rainy season, when road access becomes severely limited.

Pivotal role

WFP plays a pivotal role for peace building in the south. WFP’s activities, including food aid for returning refugees and road construction are vital “peace dividends” for the people in the south.

WFP has also established a strong relationship in the south with Japanese partners, such as JICA and Japanese NGOs.

WFP provides food to JICA's vocational training center, and will soon start collaborating with Japanese NGOs to assist returnees to the south through Food-For-Work and Food-For-Training.

This is Japan’s second contribution to WFP's operations in Sudan this year, after the JPY980 million (US$8.5 million) donation confirmed in July.

This brings the total donations from Japan to Sudan through WFP to US$21.5 million this year.