Japan donates 300 metric tons of rice for 'Odette' affected families in PH

Three hundred metric tons of rice from the Japanese government were recently donated to the Philippines for families affected by typhoon Odette.

(Photo courtesy of the Japan Embassy in the Philippines)

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said the rice donation was from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. It arrived on Feb. 21.

It will be distributed to typhoon Odette survivors in Cebu, Bohol, and Surigao del Norte "as soon as the approval by the APTERR Council is given to NFA."

Ambassador Koshikawa stressed that "as its neighbor and friend, Japan fully commits to support the Philippines’ efforts to build back better from the typhoon damage, and this rice assistance is one of our commitments."

“We hope these tons of rice will be delivered soon to nourish typhoon affected families,” he said.

The donation is under the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) initiative, a regional cooperation started in 2012.

It aims to strengthen food security, poverty alleviation and malnourishment eradication among its member countries. To accomplish its common goal, the APTERR Parties have agreed to establish rice stocks to assist member countries in times of large-scale natural disasters.

In the Philippines, several thousand tons of stockpiled rice from Japan under APTERR were distributed to previous typhoon victims during typhoon Yolanda in 2013, typhoon Ineng in 2015 and typhoon Jenny in 2019.

In 2020, Japan also provided 425 metric tons of rice to households affected by the Taal Volcano eruption and last year, pre-cooked rice were distributed to families affected by COVID-19 in Quezon City and Manila as well as selected parts of Bulacan and Cavite under the APTERR.