August 22, 2022
TOKYO – The government has decided to provide a total of 87 billion yen in aid to 26 African countries to deal with the food crisis and improve health systems.
The aid program is part of a series of government support measures that have been decided from April for African countries in preparation for the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which will be held in Tunisia on August 27 and 28.
TICAD is a triennial conference run by the Japanese government to discuss development and support for Africa. The government hopes to gain ground by offering proactive support ahead of the conference.
The food situation in many parts of Africa has deteriorated since February when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, as many countries depend on Ukrainian wheat, corn and other crops. According to observers, about 30% of Africa’s population, or 346 million people, are facing severe food shortages.
The government therefore decided on Wednesday to provide more than 5 billion yen in food aid to 19 countries, including Burundi and Madagascar.
On August 10, the government decided to provide 400 million yen to South Sudan, where more than 7.74 million people are facing food shortages, of which 87,000 are believed to be in a state of severe starvation.
In the area of health and medical systems to strengthen measures against infectious diseases, the government plans to provide about 27.5 billion yen to three countries including Senegal. It will also provide around 30 billion yen to Burkina Faso and four other countries to build new schools, bridges and other facilities.
China has stepped up its fundraising campaign in Africa through its Belt and Road Initiative, a vision to create a huge economic zone. With this in mind, the government intends to solicit the understanding of African nations on the importance of aid transparency.