Japan’s GGP Grant to Koror State Government Solid Waste Management Office
On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, Ambassador KARASAWA Akira of the Embassy of Japan, and Governor Franco B. Gibbons of Koror State signed a grant contract for “The Project for the Procurement of a Tractor to Koror State Recycling Center”, valued at $90,810 under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The signing ceremony was held at the Embassy of Japan and was witnessed by Koror State Government officials and related personnel.
Palau relies heavily on imports for consumer goods, and its low food self-sufficiency rate has been an issue for a long time. However, Palau’s agricultural development has not progressed enough because soil conditions have not been improved. As a result, it is difficult for the people in Palau to get fresh vegetables, and their daily diet tends to be short of vegetables. In addition, according to “the State of the World’s Children 2019” by UNICEF, 64% of children aged 5 to 19 in Palau are obese, which is the second highest in the world after Nauru (65%). Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an urgent need to develop new industries in addition to tourism and to enhance food security in Palau as President Whipps also mentioned in his inauguration speech.
In this regard, the Embassy of Japan has decided to provide Koror State with a brand new tractor and related equipment, which will be used for the cultivation of the land and improvement of the soil condition. The compost and liquid fertilizer produced at Koror State Recycling Center will be also used for soil management. This will not only aim to promote domestic agriculture and improve the food self-sufficiency rate, but also to change the dietary habits of residents through the supply of produced vegetables. It is also expected to help nutritional problems such as a high obesity rate to be improved.
At the ceremony, Governor Gibbons stated that this grant aid of the tractor will be utilized for agricultural development not only in Koror State but also in the whole country, expressing his gratitude for the people and Government of Japan. Ambassador Karasawa mentioned that this project is one of Japan’s assistance to promote agriculture in Palau under a new agricultural cooperation project between Japan and Palau started in 2020. He also conveyed his hope that Japan will launch more agricultural projects in the course of this year and the tractor will be used by people in Palau for a long time.
The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities in Palau. As of March 9, 2021, the Embassy has signed 86 grant contracts with schools and hospitals as well as state governments and non-profit organizations. Education, health care and environment are the primary fields prioritized by Japan and its GGP. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan website at https://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/about_ggp.html .