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Japan has donated 69 million dollars to the United Nations World Food Programme to provide vital aid to 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, with the biggest shares of the money earmarked for Yemen and Iraq, WFP said Thursday in a statement.
"We are very grateful for the generous support from the government and people of Japan, which contributes to our work transitioning from humanitarian emergencies to longer-term development," said Naoe Yakiya, Director of WFP Japan's Office.
"Today, we are facing a rise in the number of hungry people globally, reaching 821 million people...without peace and stability, we will not achieve our long-term goal of Zero Hunger," he added.
The Japanese funding will go towards food, nutrition and initiatives to build resilience in vulnerable populations, the statement said. $18 million will be used to give continued support needy families in war-wracked Yemen where over 20 million people are struggling to get enough to eat each day, the statement noted.
Japan continues to support the Sahel where conflict and climate change have left millions facing hunger and malnutrition, and the funds will also be used to promote children's full growth and the health of pregnant and breastfeeding women, in order to help change lives and break the cycle of poverty, said the WFP statement said.
A total of $3.5 million of life-saving assistance will be given to Malian refugees in Mauritania and to people who have fled their homes due to conflict and food shortages in Mali. Host communities sheltering the Malian refugees and internally displaced persons will also receive aid, the statement added.
Japan is one of WFP's top donors and has contributed $$958 million to the UN agency since 2014, said the statement.