Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The government of Japan has assisted the government and peoples of the Gambia with food aid worth GMD 125 million or about $ 482,998.45, the ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement made available to PANA here Sunday.
According to the statement, Gambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mamadou Tangara and Japanese Ambassador to The Gambia ARAI Tatsuo signed exchange notes for the delivery of Japanese food assistance to the Gambia for 2020.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the Embassy of Japan in Dakar, Senegal, Dr. Tangara commended the government of Japan and described the gesture as thoughtful and kind.
He said the food assistance was crucial and meant a lot to the country’s post-COVID-19 reconstruction and address key priorities in the National Development Plan (NDP).
He further assured the Japanese government that proceeds generated from the food assistance would be earmarked for interventions in great projects that would directly address challenges such as health, education and other social services central to the NDP of the government.
“I am pleased to recall your country's participation in the realisation of projects and programmes in the most important sectors of our development, notably in the areas of education and vocational training, agriculture, fisheries, health and water management, as this is evident with the recent signing here of the Project for Rural Water Supply Phase IV worth about GMD 770 million Gambian Dalasi,” he said.
He also said The Gambia recognised with appreciation the Japanese government’s enormous contributions towards the strengthening of bonds of solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador Tatsuo said the government and people of Japan were pleased to make the gesture to The Gambia. He said the project consisted of purchasing rice to help cover local food demand.
The ambassador said quality and sufficient food for all were important for health, social and economic development, especially in the context of COVID 19.
He stated that health was one of the pillars his government supported in addition to “Africa health and wellbeing initiative” and the initiative for food and nutrition security in Africa (IFNA).
Ambassador Tatsuo also said food security was essential to the improvement of public health and human security.
Tangara and Ambassador Tatsuo also held talks aimed at further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 22Nov2020