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- Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
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Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Headquarters - Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo: President & CEO - Masami Iijima) has agreed to cooperate with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to build irrigation water pump facilities in Mozambique using solar power as the power source. UNDP Administrator Helen Clark (the former Prime Minister of New Zealand), who is currently visiting Japan, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. President and CEO Masami Iijima held talks yesterday and agreed to cooperate on a detailed investigation into building the above facilities through a Mitsui donation as part of the company's social contributions program. The program will be the first private sector partnership the UNDP has entered into with a Japanese company to support development in Africa.
Mitsui is in agreement with the Business Call to Action (BCtA)*2 initiated by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with the aim of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)*1, and the company's former President, Shoei Utsuda (now Chairman), signed the BCtA Declaration as President of Mitsui in May 2008. The above program to construct irrigation facilities in Mozambique in cooperation with the UNDP is the first program planned for implementation under the auspices of Mitsui's BCtA Declaration. The restoration of agriculture in the country, which has been hit by natural disasters in recent years, is a pressing challenge. Under this circumstance, the Mozambique government has selected model villages to implement practical measures to bring about the eradication of extreme poverty, better access to education and others as it seeks to achieve the MDGs.
As part of the program currently under examination, Mitsui will build free of charge the solar power generation facilities and built-in irrigation pumps. We aim to achieve economic independence and reduce poverty for the model village through sustainable agricultural development by using the facilities to pump agricultural water from the river and expanding the area cultivated through the efforts of citizens of the model village. The program is an example (model plan) of mini-infrastructure that brings simultaneous improvements to both energy (renewable solar energy) and water access. In the future, we hope to spread this model not just in Africa but over a wide range of regions throughout the world with similar problems in electricity and water supply infrastructure. In carrying out the program, roles will be divided, with Mitsui responsible for planning and promotion of the program, procurement of main equipments and management of the introduction of technology, and the UNDP responsible for procuring the materials needed for local construction, program management until the completion of construction, coordination with the local government & community and capacity development for the community. We plan to launch irrigation operations immediately after construction is completed in 2010.
The principle of Mitsui's CSR is to make a contribution and return value to society through our core business ("YOISHIGOTO": good-quality work). The above initiative goes beyond our core business, but rather than simply donating facilities, we are looking at publicizing the project after the launch of operations in the hope of allowing other companies or programs throughout the world to use the model plan for similar scenarios. Planning and promoting projects based on companies' state-of-the-art technologies is what the BCtA aims to achieve. As a knock-on effect of introducing the above program, Mitsui hopes to see greater future participation by companies in the BCtA and more concrete initiatives aimed at achieving the MDGs. Mitsui itself will seek to develop new, effective and sustainable BCtA initiatives based on the implementation and progress made in the above program.
*1 - "MDGs"
"MDGs" stands for Millennium Development Goals. In September 2000, the Millennium Declaration adopted by the 189 countries (including 147 heads of state) in attendance at the United Nations Millennium Summit was combined with the international development goals adopted at major international conferences and summits held during the 1990s to form a framework for a single shared global commitment known as MDGs. The MDGs contain eight specific numeric targets, such as halving global poverty, to be achieved by 2015.
*2 - BCtA
BCtA stands for Business Call to Action. On May 6, 2008, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the time, Kemal Dervis, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown invited innovative business leaders from throughout the world to an event in London and called for a declaration to be signed to promote an initiative to reduce poverty. Unlike charitable work, the initiative aims to contribute to poverty reduction in developing countries through the application of companies' economic activities, specialist skills and technology. Currently, more than 60 multinational corporations throughout the world have signed the declaration, with the two signatory companies from Japan including Mitsui.
Chibuto Millennium Village, Gaza Province, Mozambique (200km north of the capital city, Maputo)
"Chibuto district consists of a group of four rural villages of 3,200 households, with a population of 13,000 people. The average income is less than 1 USD per day. Most of the men work overseas in countries such as South Africa, with the remaining women carrying out the agricultural work. The Mozambique government has cooperated with the UNDP, UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, UNESCO and WHO to provide guidance on education, health, agriculture, water and sanitation. The support program has cooperated with the other development programs in Mozambique under the control of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Generation capacity of solar panels: approximately 30 kilowatts per day
Pump capacity of irrigation pumps: approximately 1,000 cubic meters per day
The plan is to irrigate approximately 60 hectares of jointly held village common land, allowing the cultivated of maize, rice and vegetables for home consumption and as cash crops.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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