The World Food Programme* (WFP) has welcomed a new contribution of US$1.3 million from the Government of Japan that will enable WFP to provide food assistance to 146,000 food insecure people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
“This new contribution is another testimony to the longstanding commitment of the Government and the people of Japan to support vulnerable Palestinians,” said WFP Country Director Daniela Owen. “WFP and Japan have been partners in Palestine for over a decade and together we will continue to fight food insecurity in the future,” she added.
The funds will be used to provide 89,000 people in the Gaza Strip with fortified wheat flour for a month and an half, a key component of WFP’s food basket regularly provided to poor families.
The contribution will also cover the value of electronic vouchers for one month for 57,000 people in the occupied West Bank.
Electronic food vouchers can be used at local shops and allow families to buy dairy products and fresh produce such as eggs, vegetables and meat that are not included in conventional food rations.
The Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority H.E. Takeshi Okubo, quoted the announcement made by the Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Shinzo Abe during the recent visit of Palestine’s President Mr. Mahmoud Abbas to Tokyo and said:
“Japan will provide a new package of assistance to Palestinians amounting to US$78.2 million mainly through international organizations, including WFP, which is one of our most important partners. We highly appreciate the painstaking efforts WFP has made for over a decade in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable Palestinians. Japan will continue to support them by working closely with WFP in Gaza and the West Bank.”
According to announcement, at a time where Palestinians are facing increasing political, security and economic instabilities in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, Japan’s contribution is crucial to allow WFP to continue implementing its food assistance activities through national safety nets programmes in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Palestinian Government.
Over the past ten years, Japan has donated more than US$40 million to WFP programmes in Palestine, becoming one of the top three donors to WFP in Palestine as well as one of the largest donors to WFP globally.
The Government of Japan’s support has allowed WFP to continue investing in the local economy.
Since 2011, WFP has injected more than US$180 million into the Palestinian economy through its local food purchases and electronic food vouchers.
*WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.