Arab News Japan
The Government of Japan contributed a $7 million USD grant to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Iran.
The WFP will use the grant for its coronavirus response to support Iranian health workers and help the refugee community in Iran.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Government and people of Japan for their generous support of our emergency operations in Iran,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Islamic Republic of Iran Negar Gerami. “Our emergency response capacity and deep-field presence will ensure that the funds are utilised in an agile and timely manner while addressing the needs of vulnerable people and supporting our humanitarian partner at this critical time.”
Iran has been one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus outbreak, with over 40,000 people infected and over 2,500 deaths as of March 31.
WFP stated that they will use 60 percent of the contribution to “to purchase a three-month supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for more than 5,000 staff and volunteers from the Iranian Red Crescent Society who are responsible for screening people at city entry points. PPEs include surgical masks, N95 masks and coverall gowns which will be airlifted into Iran from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai within coming days.”
The other 40 percent of the Japanese donation will support the Afghan and Iraqi refugees living in settlement in Iran.
The refugees will receive food assistance to ensure the food needs of the vulnerable groups. The funds will also be used to conduct personal hygiene training for school children and their families living in the settlements.
According to WFP, H.E. Mitsugu Saito, Japanese Ambassador to Iran said, “Japan, as a close friend of Iran for long time, seriously concerns the present COVID-19 outbreak in Iran. Considering such a serious COVID-19 outbreak in Iran, the Government of Japan has decided to support the urgent need of countermeasures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Iran for not only Iran but also the rest of the world. In this regard, Government of Japan supports operations/activities by the International Organizations to fight against the virus in Iran. I do hope this contribution can support the further implementation of effective projects to control the outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran.”