14 March 2017

East Africa: Japan to Give U.S.$26 Million Aid to East African Countries

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Displaced women carry a sack of food (file photo).

Japan will offer $26 million in emergency aid to fight famine in six African and Middle Eastern countries, including $6 million for South Sudan, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.

The aid for South Sudan comes after the Japanese government announced the withdrawal of its troops from U.N. peacekeeping operation in the conflict-stricken country but vowed to stay committed to continue humanitarian assistance.

The other recipients of the aid approved by the cabinet are Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, Kishida said.

"The sense of crisis (toward famine) of the international community is extremely large," Kishida said. "Japan will continue to offer assistance."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said Japan will end the participation of its Self-Defense Forces in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan at the end of May.

The announcement came only four months after the government decided to assign SDF personnel deployed there the additional role--under new security legislation--of coming to the aid of U.N. personnel and others in the event of an attack.

The government said the withdrawal was not because of concerns about the deteriorated security environment in South Sudan, but because progress had been made in infrastructure projects by the SDF and in the African country's nation-building efforts.

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