In the uphill struggle against the international food crisis, Japan recently provided Sierra Leone with another substantial boost by signing an Exchange of Notes for Food Aid to the country.
Japan will send food procurements worth 560 million yen – nearly 5 million US dollars – to Sierra Leone. The notes were signed in Accra, Ghana, by Masamichi Ishikawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, and Nasratha Bakie Remoe-Doherty, Charge d’Affaires of the Sierra Leone High Commission to Accra, on Tuesday.
The Japanese International Cooperation Services (JICS) will be the agent to facilitate the procurement.
In April of this year, Japan announced that it would implement emergency food aid of approximately 100 million US dollars in the subsequent three months in response to the increasing food crisis. Last month, Japan announced that it would implement food aid of approximately 50 million dollars by October this year. The decision on this aid is, therefore, part of the concrete implementation.
Japan hosted the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), to which President Ernest Bai Koroma led the delegation of Sierra Leone. President Koroma met with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in that occasion, and the food crisis was among the agenda in that meeting. Participants at the G8 Tokyo Summit held in Hokkaido in early July intensively discussed the issue of rising food prices. Prime Minister Fukuda stated at the outset that “both immediate and mid-to-long-term policies were indispensable to address the issue of rising food prices.” The leaders discussed various factors contributing to rising food prices and measures to tackle the problem.By the end of the Summit, the Japanese Government made the decision to commit a total 4.71 billion yen as bilateral assistance and a total of 203.12 million yen will go through the WFP. With the latest donation, Japan has provided over 200 million US dollars-worth of food aid to Sierra Leone.