"As the food and nutrition requirements of refugees in Rwanda remain critically important, the Japanese contribution will allow WFP to continue to ensure the general food distribution to 55,000 Burundian refugees in Rwanda," said Mr Jean-Pierre de Margerie, WFP Rwanda representative and country director, thanking the generosity of the Government and People of Japan.
"The people of Japan are acutely aware that nutrition is the very foundation of health and is therefore stepping up its support for the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition among the most vulnerable people and this is why we have decided to intervene through WFP immediately after the previous assistance in December 2016 amounting up to 140 million Japanese Yens (USD 1.4 million)," said H.E. Mr. Takayuki Miyashita, the Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda.
WFP is currently providing food assistance to more than 150,000 people each month under its refugee operations in Rwanda. These include 138,000 Burundian and Congolese women, men and children residing in refugee camps in Rwanda, who depend entirely on WFP assistance to meet their daily food needs, having limited access to income generating activities; 12,200 school children from the host community attending the same schools as the refugee children; and one-off nine months food distributions to an average of 500 Rwandan returnees, on monthly basis.
In addition to the monthly general food distribution to refugees, WFP also provides specialized nutritious foods for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition for children under five years of age; prevention of malnutrition for children aged six months to two years of age and pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers; and people living with HIV/AIDS & TB patients in the camps.
At the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), held in Nairobi in August 2016, Japan reaffirmed the importance of nutrition as "the very foundation of health," and is stepping up its support for the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition on the continent. WFP is an active partner of the "Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA)," which was launched at TICAD VI by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and is ready to accelerate collaboration with Japan in the area of nutrition.
In Rwanda, WFP operates under the overall coordination of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in close collaboration with UNICEF in order to respond to beneficiaries' urgent basic needs. WFP is working in partnership with non-governmental organisations such as the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), American Refugee Committee (ARC), Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA) and Rwanda Red Cross Society for the distribution of food to refugees, administering targeted safety net assistance and screening of undernourished children in camps.