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Japan donates to Yemen's fight against hunger

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The UN World Food Programme (WFP) today announced a key donation from Japan to fight hunger in Yemen. A total of US $ 5.6 million has been received to provide wheat flour and pulses to hungry Yemenis, some of whom have been displaced by internal conflict.

WFP Yemen Representative and Country Director Bishow Parajuli says, "This donation brings Japan’s contributions to our current emergency operation to nearly US$30 million, making Japan our second largest donor. We are extremely grateful for Japan’s considerable and consistent support, which has proven crucial in assisting the most vulnerable.”

The UN food agency relies entirely on voluntary donations. It's mission in Yemen feeds those impacted by high food prices, conflict and displacement, as well as providing nutrition to infants and school children.

Japan’s Ambassador to Yemen, Katsuyoshi Hayashi, said today, "The government of Japan is eager to contribute to alleviating the suffering caused by food shortages across Yemen, which is going through a very critical juncture on the humanitarian and political fronts. We hope this new food assistance will contribute to the effort which has been made by Yemeni people to stabilize the country through the political transitional period.”

WFP says it's a crucial time for Yemen because there is a golden opportunity to create programs aimed at self-sufficiency for the country, rather than emergency aid. Food for all Yemenis is the crucial foundation for rebuilding the country from the violence and political unrest. New programs are even being introduced, such as school meals.

Parajuli adds, "This new operation reflects a gradual shift from providing relief to building recovery and resilience, helping people overcome barriers to food and nutrition security and manage the consequences of conflict and natural stresses. However, its success will depend on the continued generosity of major donors such as Japan.”

The United States is the largest donor to Yemen. It's future donations to WFP will be decided, in part, in the upcoming Farm Bill legislation which allocates funding to the U.S. Food for Peace program.

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