Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japanese give tonnes of rice

Japanese give tonnes of rice

Japanese give tonnes of rice

japane.jpg
japane.jpg

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

five years.

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

Red Cross.

He noted that Cambodia this year cultivated four million tons of rice and was able

to export one million tons.

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