Tokyo: Japan will donate $100 million (Rs4,016 crore) in emergency aid to help poor countries cope with spiralling food prices, chief government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura said on 25 April.
Japan has pledged to put the global food crisis on the agenda when it hosts the annual summit of the Group of Eight rich nations in July.
“As an emergency measure, Japan has decided to provide $100 million in food assistance,” Machimura told a news conference.
He said Japan would provide $50 million next month through the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), mostly to countries in Africa, and contribute another $50 million within three months. “Japan will continue to consider further assistance,” Machimura said.
Food prices have risen rapidly since the end of 2007, spurred in part by growing appetites in emerging economies such as China and India and by the popularity of biofuels at a time of soaring oil prices.
The WFP warned a special summit on the issue in London this week that the world faced a “silent tsunami” of soaring food prices, saying that another 100 million people freshly need help to buy food.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has called for talks on the food crisis when leaders of the Group of Eight -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States -- meet at the northern resort of Toyako.
On 13 April, Fukuda and top EU leaders voiced “strong concern” on the issue and called for urgent action, saying that rising food prices threatened to worsen poverty in developing countries and drag down the global economy.