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D120m Japanese Grant for Gambia

Apr 9, 2009, 5:56 AM

The Government of The Gambia and the Government of Japan on Monday 30th March 2009 signed the Exchange of Notes concerning a grant to The Gambia. The grant, which is within the framework of Japan's Food Aid Programme, amounts to four hundred and eighty million Yen, equivalent to one hundred and twenty million dalasi (120, 000,000.00).

According to a press release from the Department of State for Foreign Affairs, the money will be used to purchase rice for the consumption of the Gambian people.

The aid is part of the 100 million US dollar emergency food package which former Prime Minister Fukuda of Japan announced at the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008, in response to the concerns expressed by many participants in the wake of soaring food prices and their negative impact on poverty reduction in Africa.

"The initiative, which has a two-pronged objective, aims at satisfying the basic and urgent food requirement of the Gambian people on the one hand, and in its monetized form, provide additional resources for the implementation of Government's socio-economic development projects especially as regards food security," the release stated.

His Excellency Mr. Takashi SAITO, Ambassador of Japan to Senegal signed for the Government of Japan, whilst His Excellency Mr. Gibril Seman Joof, High Commissioner for the Republic of The Gambia in Dakar signed for Gambian Government.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Japanese ambassador described food as an essential need for all. "In Africa, many countries have been suffering from the food problem due to various reasons. Recently the climate change and the sharp rise of international food prices have given rise to further difficulties. The international society is expected to support the efforts of the countries in need", he said