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The Japanese government contributes US$19.5 million to help eradicate polio and boost child survival in Africa and Asia

TOKYO/JAPAN, 14 June 2007 - The Government of Japan is contributing some US$19.5 million to UNICEF to boost up the global effort towards polio eradication, and reinforce child survival programmes in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The support will be used to purchase 63.8 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccines in the four countries and 700,000 long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets for the three countries in Africa. In addition, it will support community mobilization to prevent malaria and other infectious diseases through provision of information and training.

“With this generous support, UNICEF can strengthen the fight against the infectious diseases that threaten millions of children in these four countries”, said Dan Rohrmann, Director, UNICEF Tokyo Office. “It is a recognition that child health and human security go hand in hand. Childhood diseases do not only kill, they leave children unable to learn or reach their full potential, undermining national progress. The Government of Japan is a steadfast champion of human security and a long-term UNICEF partner in improving child survival and health.”

“The Government of Japan is hopeful that the impact of this support through UNICEF will reach children in dire need and achieve visible results”, said Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka, Director-General of Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. “We are pleased to be able to contribute to the joint efforts of the four countries, the Government of Japan and UNICEF in the crucial fight against polio and malaria, which are of high priority on the global agenda.”

All four countries are priority countries for child survival. Angola, for example, has the second highest child mortality rate in the world and Afghanistan the third. Nigeria and Afghanistan are two of only four countries worldwide where polio is endemic, posing a threat not only to the children of those countries, but to children beyond their borders. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the wild polio virus was detected in 2006 after the country had enjoyed polio-free status for five years.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
Michiko Nagashima-Hayashi: +81-3-5467-4431; Email: Tokyo@unicef.org


 

 

 

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