Japan allocates US$5 million to WFP and UNICEF in Zambia

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Government of Japan has decided to allocate US$5 million to the Republic of Zambia through UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP). The purpose of the fund is to facilitate the implementation of various mitigation activities, including responding to widespread flood damage from the 2007/2008 rainy season, as well as disease control and HIV/AIDS prevention activities.

On 6 February, the Government of Japan decided to contribute US$264.5 million for the response to Humanitarian Crisis and Peace Building in Africa. Out of this money, US$55 million was allocated to six southern Africa countries which include Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar. Zambia was to receive US$5 million of which US$3 million was to be disbursed to WFP Zambia while US$2 million was to be disbursed to UNICEF.

On 18 March, remittance formalities between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, UNICEF, and WFP were finalized and the funds have been released to UNICEF and WFP in Zambia for various mitigation activities including floods experienced by Zambia in the 2007/2008 rainy season.

UNICEF Zambia:  The funds allocated to UNICEF Zambia will be used for the following activities:

• Counter measures on Mother to Child transmission of infectious diseases;
• Health Care for Neonatal and Child Health;
• Sustainable Operation and Maintenance Project for Rural Water Supply; and
• Seminar on sensitization and prevention of HIV/AIDS.

“UNICEF will also be using this extremely generous and appreciated funding from the Government of Japan to support the expansion of Child Friendly Schools, which is a holistic effort for community schools to become centres of care and support for vulnerable children,” said UNICEF Zambia Representative Lotta Sylwander. “With more than 1.1 million orphaned and vulnerable children in Zambia, this is an extremely important initiative in protecting every Zambian child’s right to an education and to protection.”

WFP Zambia: The funds allocated to WFP Zambia will be used for the following activities:

• Nutrition support to ART clients, family members and OVCs;
• Provision of food to flood affected people; and
• Support for community capacity building and income_generating activities.
The method of Participatory Village Development in Isolated Areas (PAVIDIA), which is one of JICA projects, will be introduced to the rural areas to support community capacity building in collaboration with WFP, JICA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
“This important contribution comes at a critical time, just as WFP resources are dwindling for flood response. The resources will enable WFP to meet the immediate food needs of 240,000 People for one month under the Flood Response as families struggle with the crop loss,” says WFP Zambia Country Director, a.i Purnima Kashyap.

She further went on to say that “The contribution will enable WFP to continue vital assistance to 224,000 beneficiaries including orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) attending community schools and additional support to the most food insecure OVC households for two months.”
“We are also excited to be starting a partnership with the PaVIDIA project, which is a MACO project supported through JICA, who provides technical assistance, contributing to sustainable livelihoods by supporting community capacity building and income_generation”, she added.

It is hoped that the funds disbursed through UNICEF and WFP will go a long way towards meeting the healthcare, livelihood and food security needs of vulnerable communities in Zambia thereby contributing significantly to the improvement of the quality of life for the citizens.