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Speech Transcripts

June 8, 2013

Speech at the High-level Nutrition Event (pre-G8 summit event): Nutrition for Growth, Beating Hunger through Business and Science

Unilever House, London, the United Kingdom

Nutrition for Growth:
Beating Hunger through Business and Science
09:00-13:00, June 8th
Special Assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
President of JICA, Dr. Akihiko Tanaka’s speech at Forum B

Forum B: Aligning international support behind country scale-up

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to speak on behalf of the Japanese government at this important event.

Japan attaches great importance to addressing undernutrition, focusing on mothers and young children. // Nutrition support // constitutes an important component of Japan's Global Health Policy 2011-2015, which aims to provide a continuum of care for mothers and children from the pre-natal to post-natal stages.

Moreover, this May, Japan launched a new Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy. In this Strategy, we promote universal health coverage so that all people of the world can receive basic healthcare services including nutrition.

As announced by Prime Minister Abe at the TICAD V held on 1-3 June in Yokohama, Japan commits to provide financial assistance totaling 500 million USD in the field of health // including maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and nutrition in Africa over the next 5 years. Also, for the same period, Japan will make a 100 million USD contribution to the World Bank, which includes assistance to African efforts to prevent child undernutrition through the World Bank Trust Fund.

While nutrition poses significant challenges to many countries, investing in // nutrition security // has proven to be cost-effective, bringing high socio-economic returns. In this regard, I would like to highlight the importance of looking at nutrition issues from the standpoint of youth employment. As in a joint recommendation made by JICA, the World Bank and African Development Bank on the occasion of the TICADV, evidence shows that investments in nutrition, particularly during "the first 1,000 days", is critical for cognitive skill development, and increases their lifetime earnings.

In this light, Japan's BOP Business program in Ghana, with AJINOMOTO and USAID, presents a model case, in which JICA will support developing a business model for the production and sale of nutritional supplements for local //baby food //, as well as building a system for raising awareness and providing guidance on nutrition.

On a global scale, Japan continues to support the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement by taking part in its Donor Network. Likewise, we are developing a new partnership with the World Food Programme for enhanced nutrition in Africa.

Japan remains committed to resolve nutrition issues and looks forward to continuing to work with you all / and other stakeholders so as to be part of the solution.

Thank you.

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