Japan’s $7.2 million support helps improve food security and resilience in Pakistan

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has recognized the Government of Japan’s significant contributions to enhancing food security, nutrition, and resilience in Pakistan, particularly in flood-affected areas.

Japan’s support, amounting to US$7.2 million, was channeled through three projects targeting emergency assistance for food-insecure populations in Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These initiatives have been vital in addressing the needs of 246,000 individuals affected by the catastrophic 2022 floods.

At a Project Completion ceremony held at the WFP Country Office in Islamabad, senior officials, including WFP Country Director Ms. Coco Ushiyama and Ambassador of Japan Wada Mitsuhiro, highlighted the impact of these contributions. Ambassador Mitsuhiro emphasized Japan’s ongoing commitment to food security and nutrition, key priorities in Japan’s Official Development Assistance. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) officials also attended the event.

The contributions were allocated as follows:

  • USD 2.5 million: Provided emergency food assistance to flood-affected communities in 2022.
  • USD 3.7 million: Delivered monthly nutritionally balanced food to those involved in community rehabilitation and resilience-building in 2023. This grant also supported conditional cash assistance during the early recovery phase.
  • USD 1 million: Supported additional food distribution and livelihood initiatives.

Additionally, the WFP implemented capacity-building activities aimed at enhancing local skills in disaster risk reduction, climate-smart agriculture, food production, and storage.

Ms. Coco Ushiyama praised the unwavering support from the Government of Japan, which was crucial in addressing food insecurity and rebuilding livelihoods at a critical time. She noted that WFP’s interventions in 2023, backed by Japan’s support, played a pivotal role in aiding nearly 4.4 million people affected by the floods. These efforts included providing unconditional cash support to approximately 1.7 million people and addressing longer-term needs such as building resilience and enhancing livelihood opportunities.

Speaking at the occasion, Japanese Ambassador appreciated WFP’s Pakistan work and reaffirmed Japan’s commitment by noting “Food security and nutrition are among the priorities for Japanese Official Development Assistance, and we consider them to be the fundamental requirements for achieving sustainable development.”

Overall, with generous and timely support from donors and partners, including the USD 7.2 million from Japan, WFP mobilized over USD 150 million for its emergency flood response by December 2023.

Japan provides $2 million for Human Resource Development Scholarship

Additionally this month, the Government of Japan announced grant aid worth US$2.08 million (326 million Japanese Yen) for the Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) program in Pakistan.

At the ceremony, Ambassador Wada Mitsuhiro and Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, signed the Exchange of Notes. The Grant Agreement was also signed by Saeed Ashraf Siddiqi, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Mr. MIYATA Naoaki, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Pakistan Office.

The JDS program aims to support Pakistan’s social and economic development by providing government officials the opportunity to obtain Master’s or Doctoral degrees in Japan. This initiative is designed to enhance their knowledge in the subject of public administration and strengthen the relationship between Japan and Pakistan. Since its launch in 2018, 50 officials have completed their degrees, and 33 are currently studying in Japan. This year, 17 officials will join the program.

Ambassador Wada highlighted, “This project supports ‘People First,’ the first pillar of Pakistan Vision 2025, focusing on social and human capital development at the heart of sustainable development. The Government of Japan fully understands the importance of developing social and human capital in public administration to effectively address the multi-dimensional development challenges in this country.”

Mr. MIYATA added, “Since the inception of Japan’s ODA 70 years ago, training programs have been a cornerstone, with around 7,000 Pakistani officials participating. We hope all JDS fellows, alongside past trainees, will contribute to Pakistan’s development and strengthen the relationship between Pakistan and Japan in the future.”

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