Mbabane: The Kingdom of Eswatini on Wednesday received food aid worth E26 Million from the Japan Government.
The food aid targets 30 600 vulnerable households countrywide and will be disbursed from October 2021 to March 2022.
The food aid was received by Minister of Economic Planning Dr. Thambo Gina in a virtual meeting with Japan’s Ambassador to Eswatini H.E Norio Maruyama. It consists of 1 300 tonnes of maize, 530 tonnes of Japanese rice, and 400 tonnes of beans, among others.
Receiving the aid Gina stated that the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini was very pleased with the bilateral cooperation and friendship shared by the two nations. He stated that government remains committed to working with Japan in the efficient use of aid as well as other projects between the two Governments.
Minister Gina sad Japan has proven to be one of the country’s main development partners as they have not only supported the government during COVID-19pandemic but have also supported the country in poverty reduction and social stability endeavors, contributing over E145 Million in just one financial year.
Ambassador Maruyama said he was convinced that this donation will help meet the heightened need for food assistance during this unprecedented time.
According to Head of World Food Program (WFP) eSwatini, Deepak Shah, more than 209,000 people are at risk of food insecurity in the Lubombo and Shiselweni regions.
Deepak said of this Population, 50 000 people are estimated to be in emergency food insecurity severity and require an urgent and consistent response to address the life-saving support needed for them to meet their food and nutrition needs. He said it was therefore that WFP will implement a food assistance programme in the constituencies with the highest severity of food insecurity.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit several sectors of the economy particularly hard resulting in job losses which reduced income opportunities for households, leading to an increase of food and nutrition insecurity for vulnerable populations in Eswatini.
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