Press release: Government of Japan grants $5 million to support the Millennium Villages Project in Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda

COPENHAGEN - These funds will support operations in four Millennium Villages: Sauri and Dertu (Kenya), Pampaida (Nigeria) and Mayange (Rwanda), in keeping with Japan’s commitment to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in Africa.

"All over the world, there are still people who are unable to enjoy the benefits of development due to various reasons. In order to tackle this situation, the Government of Japan has reflected the importance of "Human Security" in its Official Development Assistance" said Mr. Kinji Shinoda, Chargés d' Affaires ad interim at the Embassy of Japan in Denmark.

"Sub-Saharan Africa has achieved remarkable economic growth after entering the 21st century; however, still, many of those in the African continent still suffer from extreme poverty. The people of Japan and the Government of Japan are very pleased to support the Millennium Villages Projects in Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda. We must achieve the project goals hand in hand with all parties concerned."

This new grant builds upon Japan's previous support for the Millennium Villages Project.

Between 2006 and 2011, more than $20 million in funding from the Government of Japan ‒through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme ‒ played an essential role in launching nine Millennium Villages Project sites. The Government's support has extended to Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar and Mozambique, which included​ the establishment of new project sites in these countries, in partnership with the UNDP.

"We are extremely grateful to Japan and Prime Minister Abe for this generous grant of support to the Millennium Villages Project," said Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Millennium Villages Project.

"This grant will enable rural communities in Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda, to complete their ten-year efforts to fight poverty, reduce hunger, raise incomes, and fight disease, in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The three host-country governments are deeply appreciative of this latest demonstration of Japan's steadfast support for the MDGs.  Japan once again demonstrates its global leadership in supporting sustainable development, human security and the eradication of extreme poverty across sub-Saharan Africa."

"We are proud to support the Millennium Villages Project as a leading model for countries in sub-Saharan Africa to constructively address their development challenges and ultimately eradicate rural poverty. This new grant from the Government of Japan is another step forward in that direction" said Ms. Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director.

The Millennium Villages Projects is a partnership initiative of Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute, Columbia University, with UNOPS as the lead executing organization. The Project's aim is to demonstrate that progress toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in low-income rural sub-Saharan African villages can be made over a 10-year time frame by promoting a comprehensive package of low-cost, science-based interventions and practices within the budget structure recommended by the UN Millennium Project. The new grant from Japan will fund Year 9 in the four project sites.


For more information please contact:

Amy Shaw
Director of Development & Communications
Millennium Promise

Azusa Chiba
Partnerships Practice Group

Millennium Promise provides the operational platform and resource mobilization for the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), which empowers communities to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. In partnership with The Earth Institute at Columbia University and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the MVP works with impoverished rural communities, African governments, and a global network of scientific, corporate, and non-governmental partners to apply evidence-based policies and interventions recommended by the UN Millennium Project, combined with local on-the-ground knowledge. Approximately 500,000 people live in the 10 Millennium Villages, all of which are located in “hunger hotspots” reflective of major farming systems across ten sub-Saharan African countries. The Project is demonstrating that the MDGs are achievable through a targeted, holistic, and cost-effective approach to community- and national- level investments.

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world.