Japan contributes to food security drive with US$ 1.5 million


March  20,  2019

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday received a contribution of US$ 1.5 million (¥168,000,000) from the Government of Japan, to support vulnerable communities affected by erratic rainfall in Pujehun and Kambia districts of Sierra Leone.

“This generous donation from Japan comes in time to help people who lost their crops due to unpredictable weather conditions and face an early onset of the lean season,” said Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP Deputy Country Director and officer-in-charge.

According to a release from the UN agency ,they will use the contribution from Japan to build resilience reaching more than 35,600 people for a period of one year through an integrated package of nutrition, school feeding and livelihood support to foster recovery and build long-term resilience to future shocks.

“Over 16,200 pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children aged 6-23 months will receive specialized nutritious foods to prevent stunting while more than 13,700 primary school children in government-assisted schools will receive daily hot meal to increase enrolment and improve attendance.”

The release continues that more than 5,650 food insecure smallholder farmers will be supported to grow bio-fortified orange-fleshed sweet potato, yellow fleshed cassava and establish fruit tree plantations and woodlots as well as develop small-scale irrigation lowland irrigation structures for year-round cultivation of rice.

It states that an August 2018 assessment undertaken by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and WFP confirmed the negative impact of the erratic rainfall on agricultural production levels, with over two-thirds of farmers reporting poor germination of seeds and over half citing that they had experienced crop failure.