HAVANA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Japan is offering more than $9 million to
Cuba to help it offset crop losses caused by drought and a hurricane, the
Japanese Embassy said on Saturday.
Of nearly $9.4 million offered, $8.6 million is a direct donation to let
buy some 25,000 tons of rice.
An additional $770,000 would be used to buy wheat and would be
channelled through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP),
which had appealed for international contributions for an emergency food aid
programme for Cuba.
The WFP appeal responded to a five-month drought in Cuba's eastern
provinces, which badly damaged food and export crops.
This was followed in late September by Hurricane Georges, which swept
most of the island with heavy winds and rain, killing six people and causing
more agricultural losses.
Cuban President Fidel Castro announced at the end of September the
government would make available additional food rations to offset
weather-related crop damage.
The Japanese Embassy said a team from Japan's international cooperation
agency would travel to Havana next week to consult with Cuban officials
about the aid.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.