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In an effort to alleviate food shortage facing Lesotho, Japan on Monday handed over food commodities procured through the World Food Programme (WFP) to the government of Lesotho.

Speaking at this handing over ceremony held at Food Management Unit (FMU) Warehouse at the Industrial Area in Maseru, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Mr. Lesego Makhothi said the generosity and kindness of the government and people of Japan is laudable, noting that it is only in January this year when Lesotho received food donations from Japan, that changed the lives of Basotho who were in dire need.

He added that the food commodities received earlier this year also augmented the national response to the El Nino catastrophe that had bedeviled Lesotho.

Mr. Makhothi announced that the food commodities Lesotho receives today will be distributed to severely affected Basotho living in Mants'onyane within Thaba-Tseka district.

Meanwhile, when handing over the food commodities, Minister-Counselor at the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Shuichiro Kawaguchi said though the El Nino weather phenomenon in Lesotho had officially ended in July 2016, food insecurity is still a major concern in this country. 

He said according to WFP Lesotho report in April 2017, food insecurity is affecting 561,814 people which amounts to approximately 58 percent of the country's total population, noting that the percentage is made up of infants, youth and expecting mothers living in the mountainous areas of Lesotho.

In conclusion, he said Japan will continue to strengthen its bilateral relationship with Lesotho as it has been doing in the past, especially in the areas including the improvement of basic needs through grant assistance, technical cooperation, Japan overseas cooperation volunteers program as well as the grassroots grant program.

Sharing the same sentiments, the WFP Country Director, Ms. Mary Njoroge noted that from 2008 to date, the government of Japan has contributed a total of $17,538,241 to vulnerable groups in Lesotho through WFP.

She commented that the current donation from Japan comes at a crucial time when WFP is experiencing funding shortfalls to support vulnerable children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Amongst the food commodities donated by Japan to Lesotho were maize meal, super cereal plus, pulses and vegetable oils to mention a few.


Source: LENA 04/09/2017

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