Japan vows 300 bil. yen in nutrition-related aid over next 3 years

Dec 08 , 2021. 12 hours ago – 22:05 KYODO NEWS

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a speech at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit at a Tokyo hotel on Dec. 7, 2021. (Pool photo) (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

TOKYO – Japan will provide more than 300 billion yen ($2.6 billion) over the next three years to help developing nations address nutrition challenges as Tokyo bolsters its commitment to reducing hunger, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.

In his remarks at a two-day summit on nutrition that started the same day, hosted by Japan, Kishida also pledged to offer 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to African countries where the shots are urgently needed amid the spread of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Achieving zero hunger by 2030 is one of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which also include addressing climate change and poverty. Japan is seeking to improve the nutrition situation in developing nations by supporting their food supplies.

“Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic is a pressing issue,” Kishida told the hybrid event in Tokyo attended virtually by overseas participants, adding that it has had a “significant impact” on nutrition.

The pandemic has depressed economic activity and disrupted supply chains. It has also impacted vulnerable people, with the crisis increasing the number of children suffering from severe malnutrition by 13.6 million, Kishida said.

“Under the principle of human security, we will help to achieve universal health coverage and establish sustainable food systems supported by science and technology,” the prime minister said.

The summit provides a forum for participants to discuss how to secure stable food supplies among other issues, and to make funding and policy pledges.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres was among the speakers of the event, also attended by officials from over 80 governments, companies and international organizations.

It is the third such nutrition summit, following those in Britain in 2013 and Brazil in 2016. It is customary for the summit to be held in a country where the Olympics and Paralympics are held, according to the Japanese government.