Japanese Government and private donor join forces to fund UNICEF’s response to polio outbreak in Central Asia
TOKYO/JAPAN, 1 July 2010 – In view of the polio outbreak which has been affecting vulnerable people including many children in Tajikistan since May, the Government of Japan and an NGO, Japan Committee “Vaccines for the World’s Children” (JCV), are both providing much-needed vaccines through UNICEF.
Japan is a unique donor country, where UNICEF receives almost the same amount of funding yearly from the public sector and the private sector. In 2009, the Government contributed USD 164 million to UNICEF; the private sector, USD 155 million through the Japan Committee for UNICEF.
As a response to the current polio crisis in Central Asia, the Government of Japan announced an Emergency Grant Aid of some USD 200,000 on 15 June. The private sector followed soon after, with a contribution of USD 150,000 from JCV. JCV is an NGO which was established to follow up the Third Meeting of the Consultative Group on Children’s Vaccine Initiative, which was held in Kyoto, Japan, in 1993. With more than USD 8 million contribution in total, JCV has been a regular donor for UNICEF though the Japan Committee for UNICEF. Most of the JCV contributions were allocated to the procurement of vaccines for children in Myanmar over the last 14 years, and it is the first time for the organization to fund immunization operations in Central Asia. The president of JCV and former first-lady Ms. Kayoko Hosokawa said, “Our most important mission is to deliver Japanese people’s goodwill to provide vaccines for needy children in a timely and effective manner.”
The Japanese funds are being used for the immunization campaign supported by UNICEF, which is having a significant impact on the number of reported suspected polio cases in Tajikistan, from over 600 cases to zero for the last three weeks. “UNICEF is very grateful to the fact that Japan has shown its commitment to polio outbreak and polio eradication efforts with contributions from both public and private sectors,” said Hongwei Gao, UNICEF Country Representative in Tajikistan.
For further information, please contact:
Naoko Iwasaki, UNICEF Tokyo