ASMARA, ERITREA, 7 March 2019 – The Government of Japan and UNICEF Eritrea signed an agreement in the capital today for a grant aid of USD 2.4 million dollars to provide life-saving services for approximately 850,000 people, including children and pregnant women in Eritrea.
The Exchange of Notes were accordingly signed between Dr. Pierre Ngom, UNICEF Country Representative and Mr. Hirotaka Ishikawa, First Secretary/Head of Economic Affairs and Economic Cooperation Section, on behalf of H.E. Mr. Toshitsugu Uesawa, Ambassador of Japan to the State of Eritrea.
The Grant Agreement was signed between Dr. Ngom and Mr. Shinjiro Amameishi, Senior Representative, JICA Kenya Office.
“This gift from the people of Japan will support health systems and expand capacity of the Ministry of Health to sustain the quality immunization coverage and to build communities’ resilience to manage childhood infectious diseases,” said Mr. Amameishi.
The grant of USD 2.4 million will support Eritrea’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) to expand its cold chain capacity, strengthen and improve overall efficiency of the immunization programme by 2021 to benefit 850,000 people. This includes 25,000 children below one year of age, 127,000 children below five years and 37,000 pregnant women to access immunization services.
The EPI Grant will increase EPI coverage in 25 very low performing districts that have reported less than 60 per cent for Penta 3 coverage and/or have geographical challenges, and 15 low performing districts that have reported between 60 per cent and 79 per cent Penta 3 coverage. UNICEF will procure 195 Solar Direct Driven (SDD) refrigerators to replace obsolete battery type solar refrigerators. This funding will also equip new and existing health facilities, 30 units of electrical coolers, 1 large electric stabilizer (40 KVA), 4 medium sized electrical stabilizers (15KVA), and 30 tool kits for maintenance and repairs of the solar refrigerators.
In addition, the grant of USD 500,000 from the Japan Supplementary Budget (JSB) will provide life-saving interventions for childhood infectious diseases and related illness including malnutrition, and provide sustainable water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) services to 55,000 people (45,000 children, 10,000 women and men).
The JSB grant will improve the lives of 55,000 people; including 30,000 children for health services, 15,000 children with nutrition services, and 10,000 people (including 1,000 people with disabilities) with improved WASH services. This project also supports screening for Tuberculosis (TB) among children below 5 years of age with chronic or recurrent cough and malnutrition, since TB is associated with these conditions.
“This support from the Government of Japan will go a long way to ensure that Eritrea retains its commendable national immunization coverage of 95 per cent, expand and maintain the immunization cold chain, and support the fight against childhood infectious diseases including tuberculosis, and prevent malnutrition through improved WASH services,” said Dr. Pierre Ngom, UNICEF Representative.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.