MANILA, 31 August 2022 – The Government of Japan has donated US$ 6 million (PHP 337.5 million) to support new initiatives by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Food Programme (WFP) for farmers and fisherfolk affected by Typhoon Rai, locally known as Odette, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“We have collaborated with WFP and FAO on a number of initiatives aimed at improving resilience and achieving peace and development in Mindanao. It is critical to have stable living conditions, food security and nutrition for all in order to achieve peace. This latest project by WFP, I believe, will add greater meaning to achieving peace and progress, not only in the BARMM but also throughout Mindanao,” said His Excellency Koshikawa Kazuhiko, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, at the signing ceremony held at the Department of Foreign Affairs Office today.
“Also, our partnership with FAO will help farmers and fisherfolk severely affected by Typhoon Rai restore their livelihoods and build their resilience against future climate-related shocks. Through such endeavours, I sincerely hope that this genuine concern from the Japanese people reaches thousands of severely affected Filipinos,” the Ambassador added.
The ceremony was also attended by WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director, Brenda Barton, and FAO Representative ad interim in the Philippines, Sheila Wertz-Kanounnikoff.
US$ 4 million (PHP 225 million) will go to WFP to support a two-year project that aims to improve the livelihoods, food security and nutrition of smallholder farmers and fisherfolk and strengthen their inclusion in the agricultural value chain through improved market linkages, enhanced agricultural productivity and Social and Behaviour Change Communication activities.
Some 7,500 farmers and fisherfolk households in BARMM, including decommissioned combatants and indigenous people, will benefit from the WFP project. They will be participating in activities such as construction of roads, establishing storage facilities and communal irrigation systems, agro-forestry planting and establishment of nurseries – all designed to enhance their productivity sustainably.
Moreover, WFP will introduce the farmers to the use of Farm2Go, a WFP-owned digital platform which will digitally connect farmers to markets, allowing them to sell their produce at competitive prices.
“I would like to thank the Japanese government and its people for their unparalleled support of our operations in the Philippines. This contribution will make a difference in the lives of farmers and fisherfolk and their families in Mindanao, an area where WFP has been supporting the BARMM government to achieve food security,” said WFP’s Brenda Barton.
US$ 2 million (PHP 112.5 million) of the contribution will used by FAO to implement a humanitarian initiative that will support the restoration of the livelihoods and the enhancement of the resilience of 20,000 small-scale coconut farmers and fishers affected by Typhoon Rai in Regions VII, VIII and XIII.
Through this partnership, which complements government response efforts to the disaster, FAO will provide farmers and fishers with agricultural and fishery inputs and complement these with capacity-building on climate-resilient agriculture technologies and the use of climate information and early warning systems.
The inputs and training will enable farmers to establish alternative and additional livelihoods and sources of income to avoid dependence on food aid, thereby enhancing their long-term food and nutrition security.
“We are truly grateful for this contribution by the government and the people of Japan to help Filipinos whose livelihoods and lives were greatly affected by the Typhoon Rai disaster, to get back on their feet and lead productive lives,” said FAO’s Wertz-Kanounnikoff.
“We are greatly humbled by the faith and trust of Japan in FAO’s capacity to undertake such a noble initiative. But more importantly, this generous gesture is testament not only to the continuing and strong partnership between FAO and the Japanese Government, but more so between Japan and the Philippines,” she concluded.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With 195 members – 194 countries and the European Union, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.