The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a 1.5 billion yen ($13.6 million) aid package from the Japanese Government and said this latest contribution reflected Japan's growing role in efforts to assist the millions of people affected by conflict and natural disasters in some of the priority areas in Africa.
"WFP is deeply grateful for Japan's support to Africa. It is proof of Japan's commitment and growing leadership role in wiping out hunger in Africa," WFP Deputy Executive Director Sheila Sisulu, who is currently visiting Japan, said in a statement.
WFP said the aid package would be used to help support returning refugees and internally displaced persons, victims of erratic rainfall and drought, and people affected by HIV/AIDS in Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique.
It said a total of 530 million yen ($4.8 million) from the package is for southern Sudan, where an increasing number of people displaced by decades of civil war are returning home.
In east Africa, 220 million yen ($2 million) is allocated to Uganda, where more than 1.4 million displaced people are dependent on food aid, while 250 million yen ($2.3 million) will go to Kenya to alleviate food shortages among some 1.6 million people affected by irregular rainfalls. In Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique, people affected by erratic rainfall and HIV/AIDS will receive 100 million yen ($900,000), 200 million yen ($1.8 million) and 200 million yen ($1.8 million), respectively, and the grant will be used to procure food such as wheat, maize, and rice, the WFP statement said.