Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FOOD AID: for 33 years, Japan still gives food to Gambia

RICE FARMING IN JAPAN (Photo credit: Facts and Details)

Japan has given its bilateral partner, The Gambia, 4500 metric tons of rice under the Asian country’s food aid project to the tiny poor West African nation – something that has been on for more than three decades now.

The donation arrived in Banjul, the Gambian capital, on Feb. 15, 2013, the Japan embassy in the country said during a “committee meeting” in Banjul organized by the two governments.

The Embassy’s first secretary Akiko Takano said the initiative which is part of the Food Aid Project (KR) for the Fiscal Year 2011 cost 270 million Japanese Yen (close to 90 million Gambian Dalasi).

Japan’s food aid to Gambia has been on for more than 30 years - from 1980 when it started, Mrs Takano noted.

She said this assistance is a contribution to the “food security of The Gambia”.

The meeting is a good opportunity not only to review the recent projects of the KR programme, but also to look into the conditions of food security in the country, she added.

Takano said though there have been obstacles in the execution of the programme, especially the constitution of counterpart fund, the committee meeting will come up with a solution.

Food crisis

A severe food crisis hit The Gambia in 2012 after a total crop failure manifested itself following what many observers blamed on erratic rainfall during the 2011 cropping season.
That food crisis left majority of Gambians especially farmers resorting to one-meal a day, women and children largely affected, aid agencies said.

Hunger and food insecurity remains a major problem in the country.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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