The Japanese Government has donated 15,713 metric tonnes of rice for distribution
to poor Cambodians through the UN World Food Program in a ceremony at the WFP's warehouse
on Road 5, Phnom Penh.
Japanese ambassador Fumiaki Takahashi, left, WFP Cambodia director Rebecca Hansen, and Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Two-thirds of this rice will be used in WFP relief and recovery work, which aims
to improve the education, health and nutrition of the most vulnerable people, and
reduce the nutritional effects of natural disasters. The remainder will reduce chronic
malnutrition in under-nourished people.
Rebecca Hansen, WFP's Cambodia director said Japan was the second-largest donor to
WFP in the Asia region and since 1999 had been the largest single donor supporting
WFP operations in Cambodia.
WFP provides food assistance annually to some 1.4 million vulnerable and poor people
through such activities as disaster management and community asset creation, Tb and
HIV/AIDS intervention, and school meals.
In a bilateral project with the Japanese government launched in May 2002, WFP has
given food rations to more than 250,000 rural Cambodians in return for their labor
in rehabilitating 416 kilometers of irrigation canals; 116 farmers have been trained
in water use.
Fumiaki Takahashi, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, said his government had provided
more than 43 percent of the food received through WFP in Cambodia during the last
He said the latest rice donation, along with equipment and technical assistance from
Japan, would help rural people to improve their social and agricultural infrastructure
including roading, irrigation, community pumps and wells, and school buildings. He
had been in Cambodia for about three months and visited the six provinces where Japanese
assistance was being used: Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Chhnang, Battambang, Banteay
Meanchey and Siem Reap.
Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the
Japanese government provided help to Cambodia in many fields such as roads, bridges,
water supplies, medical equipment and hospitals, as well as human resources.
Namhong said the Cambodian government's policy was that no-one should die because
of hunger and it was committed to strong cooperation with the WFP and Japanese government
in poverty reduction. Even though the people in some areas were suffering food shortages
because of the drought, the government was taking swift action through the Cambodian
He noted that Cambodia this year cultivated four million tons of rice and was able
to export one million tons.