Japan has made a food donation valued at more than US$1.8 million to assist over 30,000 food-insecure households in eSwatini.
The donation, which was made during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, would see Japan contributing to the food aid purse managed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and would support 30,600 vulnerable Swazi households for the next six months.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit several sectors of the economy particularly hard resulting in job losses which reduced income opportunities for households, leading to an increase of food and nutrition insecurity for vulnerable populations in Eswatini.
Head of WFP eSwatini, Deepak Shah said more than 209,000 people are at a risk of food insecurity in the Lubombo and Shiselweni regions.
“Of this population, 50,000 people are estimated to be in emergency food insecurity severity and require an urgent and consistent response to address the life-saving support needed for them to meet their food and nutrition needs,” Shah said during the ceremony attended by eSwatini’s Economic Planning Minister Thambo Gina and Japan’s ambassador to eSwatini Norio Maruyama.
The targeted population would receive a monthly food basket of 10 kilogrammes of cereal (rice and maize), 2kg beans and 0.5 kg of oil per person.
Shah revealed that WFP would use the Japanese contribution to procure 532 metric tonnes of rice, 1,255 tonnes of maize, 357 tonnes of beans and 89 tonnes of cooking oil for distribution during the response period.