Japan provides 300 MT of rice for Odette victims

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Japanese government has provided 300 metric tons of rice to be given to families affected by Typhoon Odette.

Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa and National Food Authority administrator Judy Dansal said the rice provision falls under the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) initiative.

The rice will be delivered and distributed to Odette-affected families in Cebu, Bohol and Surigao del Norte as soon as the approval by the APTERR Council is given to NFA.

Koshikawa said Japan is committed to help the country’s efforts in recovering from the onslaught of the typhoon in December. The government has estimated that Odette caused P25 billion in damage to agriculture, infrastructure, and private property.

Odette destroyed more than 1.7 million houses in eight provinces, affecting nearly 10 million people.

APTERR, as a regional food security cooperation scheme among nations, is beneficial to countries, including the Philippines, which are vulnerable to many hazards and natural calamities due to topography and geographic location.

APTERR manages the contributions of the member countries for emergency reserves to ensure rice availability during emergencies, stabilize the price of rice, and improve farmers’ income and welfare among member countries.

It also aims to improve food security without distorting the international rice market. The stocks are made available under a three-tier system, through sales, emergency grants and loans, and delivery of donated rice in times of acute emergency.

In the Philippines, several thousand tons of stockpiled rice from Japan under APTERR were distributed to previous victims of Typhoons Yolanda, Ineng and Jenny, among others.

Japan also provided 425 MT of rice in 2020 for victims of the Taal Volcano eruption and distributed pre-cooked rice to families affected by the pandemic in Quezon City, Manila, Bulacan, and Cavite last year.

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