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Japan donates P337.5M for typhoon-affected farmers, fishermen in BARMM

September 5, 2022 Cristina Lee-Pisco 276 views

THE Japanese government donated US$ 6 million (P337.5 million) to support new initiatives by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) for farmers and fisherfolk affected by typhoon Rai (Odette) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The ceremonial exchange of notes between the Japanese government, the WFP and the FAO was hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recently.

Approximately 4,000 small-scale coconut farming and fishing households in Regions VII, VIII and XIII, and 7,500 smallholder fisher and farmer families in BARMM were the target recipients of the project.

Some US$ 4 million (P225 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, and enhanced agricultural productivity.

WFP will introduce the farmers to the use of Farm2Go, a WFP-owned digital platform to digitally connect farmers to markets, allowing them to sell their produce at competitive prices.

A total of US$ 2 million (P112.5 million) of the contribution will be 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 “Odette” in Regions VII, VIII and XIII.

“Many Japanese people feel the suffering and pain of Filipinos as their own since we are both disaster-prone nations. We strongly hope that this sense of solidarity from the Japanese people will reach many Filipinos on the ground,” said Koshikawa Kazuhiko, Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines.

“The benefits of both projects nourish the country’s long-term socio-economic well-being and shield the most vulnerable from economic shocks that follow on the heels of both natural and man-made disasters,” said Noemi Diaz, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of the United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO), representing Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo.

“Food is a pathway to peace. The linkage between conflict and hunger is undisputed. With the devastating effects of the global food, fuel and fertilizer crisis, which is pushing millions of people across the world to the edges of hunger and desperation, we see Japan once again step forward to help the UN and governments buffer the impact,” remarked WFP Country Representative Brenda Barton.

Japan, WFP, and FAO work closely with the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and the BARMM ministries in implementing both projects.