Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, has extolled the Government and People of Japan for the 9th Round of the Kennedy Round (KR) Food Aid to Liberia.
The aid amounts to a total of 65,680.95 metric tons or 2,189,146 (30KG) bags supplied to the West African nation.
Kemayah stated that the purpose of these commodity grants is to support Liberia’s socio-economic recovery projects that are not captured in its fiscal budget.
“We are proud to say that Liberia has maintained the integrity of the monetization of the KR Rice, and we will continue to do so to fully accelerate our national development agenda,” the Foreign Minister said
Minister Kemayah said the Government of Liberia has undertaken numerous and tangible development projects using the sale proceeds of these grant commodities, with the approval of the Government of Japan,
He disclosed that the Japanese Counterpart Value-Funded Projects are ranging from the construction of roads, local housing units, market buildings, warehouses, bridges, among others, for which the government of Liberia remains “very grateful” to the Government and People of Japan for their continued support towards Liberia’s economic recovery efforts.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the 9th round of the KR food aid exchange of notes on Wednesday, July 27, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Kemayah mentioned that these social economic infrastructures are geared toward jobs creation, income generation and sustainable livelihood beyond just food aid.
“I will be remiss, if I did not measure the Paddy and Seed Project, which helps immensely in ensuring Liberia’s success in the multiplication and supply of certified seeds rice to our local farmers free of charge. I want to use this occasion to laud the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Cooperative Development Agency (CDA) and all the farmers for their role,” Minister Kemayah noted.
The Dean of the Cabinet said, in close consultation with the Japanese Counterpart Value Fund Secretariat, the government of Liberia has identified key future funding projects for the utilization of the sale proceeds from the Japanese KR Food Aids-2020, 2021 and 2022.
“I would like to catalog these invaluable projects subject to the approval of the Government of Japan for your kind consideration and support, the extension of the newly-built Duala Market and the construction of a modern parking lot, to help decongest the road corridor leading to the Monrovia – Freetown Highway; the construction of two (2) large market buildings in Foya District, Lofa County; and in Camp Four, Nimba County,” he explained.
Minister Kemayah added that it includes the construction of two (2) modern wood workshops, one between Bong and Nimba Counties; and the other in Montserrado County.
He stated that it must be noted that consultation is still going on as to the exact location; the completion of the Lofa Women Weaving Center located in Kolahum District, Lofa County, among others.
For his part, the Ambassador of Japan to Liberia, Mr. Hisanobu Mochizuki said about two months ago while in Liberia he turned over food assistance for FY2020 which was value at US$2.3 million.
He added that he is delighted to announce that the total amount of the new food assistance will be value of 300,000,000 yen.
Ambassador Mochizuki said in 2008 the Government of Liberia entered into a bilateral agreement with the Government of Japan to address food security challenges in Liberia, noting that since then, the Government of Japan has been providing rice to Liberia through the Kennedy Round (KR) Food Assistance to be sold at a minimum cost in an effort to alleviate hunger in Liberia.
Ambassador Mochizuki intoned that the Food Assistance program is important from the viewpoint that it shares objectives that are consistent with promoting the concept of human security, adding that human security, which Japan has been advocating on the world stage, is a concept that pursues the right of individuals to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and want, through their protection and empowerment.
The Japanese Ambassador said the Food Assistance Program has been one of the sustainable means of raising revenue through the Counterpart Value Fund to tackle the Government of Liberia’s pro-poor developmental initiatives and also address cross-cutting challenges to the survival, livelihood and dignity of the people.