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.