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Japanese Embassy presents grant assistance to Food Aid Foundation

THE Embassy of Japan signed a grant assistance agreement worth approximately RM150,000 with the Food Aid Foundation (FAF) yesterday for the purchase of mobile vehicles to deliver surplus food and cooked meals prepared by the NGO.

This will enable the NGO to increase the frequency and efficiency of delivering surplus food and providing cooked meals to those in need, especially in the bottom 40% income (B40) community located in the Klang Valley area.

t is part of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) programme, a financial aid scheme to empower a wide range of community-based organisations working at the grassroots level to ensure and enhance human security in fields such as medicine, education and the environment.

According to the Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia Takahashi Katsuhiko, the GGP is one of the many ways Japan supports Malaysia’s nation-building through empowering individuals and communities.

“Human security is a concept raised by the United Nations (UN) Development Programme in the 1990s as a concept to advance nation and community building through empowerment and protection of individuals to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and want,” said the ambassador.

“This concept is reflected in various activities of the UN and in other countries. Japan has upheld the concept as an important pillar of Japan’s foreign policy and has taken proactive initiatives to disseminate it.”

The GGP programme has been running since 1989 and has so far awarded grants totalling RM18.7 million to 154 projects throughout Malaysia.

Citing the 40th anniversary of the Look East Policy (LEP), the ambassador added, “The GGP is also an important area of collaboration between our two countries in line with the concept of human security as well as the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“As a strategic partner and an indispensable friend, Japan will continue to support Malaysia in achieving social and economic development implemented under the LEP. I hope that this GGP project will benefit Malaysia in this aspect.”

For Rich Chee, founder and CEO of the FAF, the grant symbolises a “sweet victory” for the NGO.

“This is the first external grant for the past eight and a half years since our incorporation in 2013. I would like to tell you that this is a sweet victory for us to secure the grant from the people of Japan.

“The reason I’m saying that is the application exercises, the scrutinising process, the processes and inquiries relating to how we operate, and coming out as the recipient is indeed a sweet victory for us,” he said.

The NGO has been involved in distributing surplus food and cooked meals to the B40 communities in the Klang Valley area for the last five years, as well as to Covid-19 patients and the victims of the recent flooding throughout the country.