Japan to Provide US$2.7M Food Assistance to Liberia

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Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono with Liberia's Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar M. Findley in Tokyo

The Government of Japan has announced US$2.7 million worth of Food Assistance to the Government and people of Liberia with the aim to address Liberia’s food security situation, a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

According to the release, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono made the disclosure at his office in Tokyo when he held a bilateral meeting with Liberia’s Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar M. Findley.

Minister Kono told his counterpart that his government is intensifying efforts aimed at elevating Liberia-Japan bilateral relations.

As part of the efforts, Minister Kono said the Government of Japan will provide US$2.7 million worth of rice to Liberia to be sold at a minimum cost in an effort to alleviate hunger in the country.

He added that the proceeds from the rice would be used to tackle the CDC-led Government’s Pro-poor developmental initiatives.

Minister Kono said that the Japanese Embassy accredited to Liberia will work closely with the Liberian government to promote Japanese investments in the country.

Kono informed Minister Findley that the Government of Japan looks forward to seeing President George Weah paying a state visit to Japan next year.

In response, Minister Findley applauded the Government and people of Japan for the level of collaboration, and supports Liberia has received so far from that Asian country.

“Your Ambassador to Liberia is working very hard with our technical team to deliver the message of the food aid to our people. We also want to thank the Government and people of Japan for the level of collaboration we have received thus far,” Minister Findley told his Japanese counterpart.

Findley also recounted the numerous humanitarian assistance of Japan to Liberia during the Ebola crisis in 2014 and 2015 as well as the many infrastructural works that are being carried out in the country by the Japanese, specifically the Somalia Drive Phase two Road Project which, according to him, will soon commence following the signing of an agreement between Liberia and Japan.

The Liberian envoy used the occasion to thank the Government of Japan, through Minister Kono for considering Liberia’s new proposals recently submitted to his Government, including the 282 Housing Units that are supposed to be built in Casstown, Grand Kru County.

Minister Findley then reiterated Liberia’s call for Japanese bilateral assistance in the areas of Housing facilities, which he added, will improve living conditions for rural Liberians.

He also pleaded with the Japanese to construct the Omega Market in Paynesville which, according to Findley, would provide decent environment where marketeers will sit and conduct their business activities.

Minister Findley used the occasion to call on the Japanese specialized companies to invest in potential sectors of the country’s economy, including agriculture, fisheries, and mining.

“With that partnership, it becomes what we refer to as development with growth geared towards improving the lives of our people and, at the same time, improving our economy and relations between Liberia and Japan,” he added.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. There we go again! The habitual practice of Liberian government begging other productive nations to feed lazy Liberians continues unabated!

    When will we apply common logic or this quote from the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism who said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    Apart from the late President Tolbert whose humanistic capitalism philosophy of self-reliance that brought pride to Liberia’s once bustling agriculture sector, all other Liberian government including this current Pro Poor government, continue to overemphasize Liberia’s unsustainable dependency on foreign aid to feed its small population.

    No matter how much foreign donation (US$2.7 million) worth of rice the Government of Japan or other nation provide to Liberia, it is not sustainable to feed a nation of 4.6 million. One solution to cut down on foreign food assistance will be for Liberia to request these countries (donors) to use such monetary contributions to build Technical Agriculture schools or colleges in Liberia to produce future farmers of Liberia.

    These agriculture donations should come in the form of bringing technical expertise (trainers) to Liberia where they can teach our youths and farmers different planting methods they (Asian Countries) used in producing high-yield fast-growing rice that could be grown rapidly in Liberia for local consumption.

    Instead of Liberian government officials embarrassingly going around the world to beg for food assistance (mostly Liberia’s stable food….rice), this Pro-Poor government should focus on making Liberian poor self-sufficient in rice production.

    On the contrary, there are other technical areas where Liberia lacks technical manpower and funding that make bilateral cooperation genuinely necessary for the purpose of building sustainable infrastructure development. In this case, it is highly necessary to solicit foreign assistance provided such assistance provides good paying jobs and gives many Liberians the relevant skills so Liberians could one day take over and maintain these modern facilities after the departure of these foreign experts.

    Liberia is a small country with a small population that has a fertile land which is underutilized in Agriculture production. With the help of foreign agriculture experts and the right application of government effort (financially) towards agriculture, Liberia could be self-sufficient in food production within the next six to ten years.

    I recommend all Liberian government officials to read, “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa”, by Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian-born international economist. She debunks the myth that billions of dollars in aid to African nations helped reduced poverty. She explicitly reveals how aid to African nations has enriched few upper echelons (government officials) and severely increased poverty in developing nations.

    Instead of this government begging for food assistance around the world, this Pro-Poor Government needs to implement robust economic policies; implement major austerity measures; implement war on corruption, and last but not least, implement an aggressive eradication policy on illiteracy which is a major contributing factor to poverty in Liberia.

  2. alpha conneh- part two to what you said is that the intentions are good but only a very small portion will trickle down to the average liberian. these countries should bring in their own people to manage such large sums of moey. Liberian authorities are like little children when given $100. What do you think a child will do with $100? Thats like placing a child in a candy store and thinking that the child will walk out with change. #LiberianBeggars

  3. Surprisingly, even the usually-contrarian John Weah sees something positive here, “the intentions are good” of our cool, calm, and collected Japanese partners. Furthermore, that we went begging to get this assistance instead of asking for knowhow in order to be self-reliant, should be taken as mere speculation. What not in doubt, though, is that – for the last five years – under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the government and people of Japan have increased assistance to various sectors including in energy (electricity), healthcare, roads, security, food…

    Needless to say that hundreds of Liberians, who might have remained unemployed, are earning a living to support families as a result of Japanese physical infrastructural developmental initiatives. Of course, the income taxes taken from their paychecks monthly, and the goods and services they pay for help in stimulating our economic machinery. And if you ask me, now that the most patriotic and best and brightest among us at home and abroad are calling on the international community to put “Smart sanctions” on a Liberia undergoing pervasive poverty, it would be so so senile to look a gift horse like regular Japanese assistance in the mouth. (This isn’t to say Mama Liberia should be stuck in dependency, but until she makes that transition, help in skills-training and whatever are equally welcomed).

  4. When will Africa stop begging, Money, Rice may be fufu later. I read the president plan to make Liberian University the best. I HOPE AND PRAY THAT THERE IS A PROGRAM THERE FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE. This is really shamefull. Africa even needs chines to build their roads, leather factory, shoe factory, ceramic factory. What happened to all the graduates of engineering, Agriculture, etc. illiterate Chinese coming to Africa and are called experts , 90% of the Chinese coming to Africa cant qualify for any job here in the STATES. God help you people.

  5. it is so sad that we cannot fee ourselves. This is what Tolbert wanted us to do-self-sufficient, fee ourselves, instead of going around the world begging for food that we can produce for ourselves. I think the president and his administration should start talking about going back to the soil, if not we will continue to go around the world asking other country to fee us. In any case we are stuck in dependency, because the only thing we want to do as Liberian, is to stay in Monrovia and beg others for market food every morning. After one hundred and seventy two (172) years we are still looking for all kinds of hand out. We need to go back to the soil, or else we will continue to take picture with foreign countries like the one the Foreign Minister took with the Japanese Foreign Minister (2.7)millions dollars hand shake for food-what a shame.

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