December 8, 2023

Minister Kemayah Praises Japan for Massive Rice Donation to Liberia

Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., the foreign minister of Liberia, has praised the government and people of Japan for providing Liberia with food aid in the 9th Kennedy Round (KR), totaling 65,680.95 metric tons or 2,189,146 (30KG) bags. He claims that the goal of these commodity grants is to support Liberia’s socio-economic recovery projects that are not included 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 construction of roads, housing units for local residents, market buildings, warehouses, bridges, and other projects are among the Japanese Counterpart Value Funded Projects, for which the government of Liberia is still very appreciative to the Government and People of Japan, according to Minister Kemayah. These projects were carried out with the approval of the Government of Japan.

Minister Kemayah stated that these social economic infrastructures are designed to create jobs, generate income, and provide sustainable livelihoods beyond just food aid during the signing ceremony of the 9th round of the KR food aid exchange of notes on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“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 satisfied 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.

According to the Dean of the Cabinet, the Liberian government has identified important future funding projects for the exploitation of the sale earnings from the Japanese KR Food Aids-2020, 2021, and 2022 in close coordination with the Japanese Counterpart Value Fund Secretariat.

“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 – Free Town Highway; the construction of two (2) large market buildings in Foya District, Lofa County; and in Camp Four, Nimba County; the construction of two (2) modern wood workshops, one between Bong and Nimba Counties; and the other in Montserrado County. Note: (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, Amb. Hisanobu Mochizuki said about two months ago while in Liberia he turned over food assistance for FY2020 which was valued at USD$2.3 million, adding that he is delighted to announce that the total amount of new food assistance will be valued at 300,000,000 yen.

According to Ambassador Mochizuki, the governments of Japan and Liberia signed a bilateral agreement in 2008 to address the country’s food security issues. He added that ever since that time, Japan has been sending rice to Liberia via the Kennedy Round (KR) Food Assistance to Liberia program in an effort to reduce hunger there.

Invoking the idea of human security, which Japan has been promoting on the international stage, Ambassador Mochizuki emphasized the significance of the Food Assistance program. He added that this idea pursues peoples’ rights to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and want, through their protection and empowerment.

The food assistance program, according to the Japanese ambassador, has been a reliable source of funding for the Counterpart Value Fund, which has been used to support the government of Liberia’s pro-poor development initiatives as well as cross-cutting problems affecting people’s ability to survive, support their families, and live in dignity.

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