|Ahmed Yacine, 2, laughs in his mother's arms in the town of Shire in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region. Ahmed has just recovered from polio, a deadly disease that can be easily prevented by oral polio vaccine.|
By Kun Li
NEW YORK, USA, 4 August 2006 – The Government of Japan has announced a nearly $16 million donation to UNICEF, to help reduce child mortality and achieve Millennium Development Goals in four African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan.
According to the Director of UNICEF’s Office for Japan and the Republic of Korea, Yoshiteru Uramoto, the funding was approved by the Japanese Cabinet on 28 July. The donation will help UNICEF procure essential supplies in the target countries – including some 1.1 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria, as well as vaccines against preventable childhood diseases such as polio and malaria.
“These countries will benefit with approximately three to four million dollars each,” said Mr. Uramoto. “This contribution is a reflection of Japan’s interest to support these countries to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 – reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015.”
Contributions on the rise
The contribution is part of Japan’s pledge of $5 billion to support UNICEF’s programmes from 2006 to 2010.
Mr. Uramoto said donations from Japan have been steadily on the rise, from $100 million in 2003 to $156 million in 2004 and $184 million in 2005. Earlier this year, Japan contributed $76 million to UNICEF for avian influenza preparedness and peace-building in Asia and Africa.
Besides support from the Government of Japan, UNICEF benefits from its association with Japanese Goodwill Ambassadors, including Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and Agnes Chan. Their fundraising and advocacy efforts work have raised the organization’s profile throughout Japan and “helped justify the government’s support,” remarked Mr. Uramoto.
4 August 2006:
The Director of UNICEF’s Office for Japan and the Republic of Korea, Yoshiteru Uramoto, comments on the latest contribution from the Japanese Government.