Japan joins hands with UNICEF to strengthen vaccine cold chain system in Guinea-Bissau
BISSAU, March 29- The Government and people of Japan have provided a contribution of USD 2.2 million to strengthen vaccine cold chain system in Guinea-Bissau, through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
The contribution from Japan is intended to strengthen the health system with the procurement of cold chain equipment, such as cold storage facilities and transportation. The grant will equally support human resource development for operations and maintenance of cold chain equipment as well as monitoring for effective management of routine and COVID-19 vaccines. The donation to Guinea-Bissau is part of the Grant Aid of USD 30 million that is to be extended to Latin America, the Caribbean and African regions as they strive to comprehensively address the COVID-19 pandemic.
To address the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has made important efforts to ensure equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for as many people as possible, especially through the COVAX Facility. COVAX is an UN-led multilateral system to ensure global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. To date, Japan has made financial contributions of USD 1 billion to the COVAX Facility as well as more than 40 million doses of vaccine donations. In February 2022, Japan provided Nigeria and Malawi with approximately 860 thousand doses and 280 thousand doses, respectively, of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in Japan, through the COVAX Facility. This round of donations from Japan of which Guinea-Bissau is a beneficiary, will also include 9 other countries in Africa.
“This project will fully support UNICEF’s COVID-19 response efforts in Guinea-Bissau and will promote friendship between Japan and Guinea-Bissau” said Mr. NAKAJIMA Daisuke, Charge d ’affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Japan to Guinea-Bissau.
"We are grateful to the Government of Japan for its timely support to Guinea-Bissau in its critical efforts to safely and effectively deliver and store vaccines across the country." said UNICEF Representative in Guinea-Bissau, Etona Ekole. "The cold chain equipment to be provided through Japan's support will not only support Guinea-Bissau’s current COVID-19 vaccination drive but will also reinforce routine immunization services to protect children against childhood diseases. A strengthened vaccination system will further contribute to ensuring that the health system is robust enough in the event of future health crises, so that children, families, and communities across Guinea-Bissau are protected."
UNICEF has been working with the government of Guinea-Bissau to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus among communities, as well as facilitating the vital procurement of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility.
This grant will be used for the procurement of appropriate vehicles to provide logistical support to efficiently deliver COVID-19 vaccines to health facilities. The fund will enhance the Government of Guinea-Bissau’s vaccination efforts, in the context of achieving universal health coverage, as well as help to strengthen the management of equipment as part of the COVID-19 vaccination effort over a 12-month period between 2021–22.
Notes to Editors:
On February 25, the Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of 30 million US dollars to Latin American and the Caribbean and African countries that are dealing with the impact of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on health provision.
This assistance will provide 17 countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean and African regions with cold chain equipment including medical equipment such as cold-storage facilities and capacity building assistance for promoting vaccination in each country, among others, as “Last One Mile Support” through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In order to overcome COVID-19, it is important to ensure and promote equitable access to vaccines throughout the world. Japan will continue to make its contributions in order to supply vaccines and strengthen the delivery and vaccination capacities including through “Last One Mile Support” and assistance via the COVAX Facility.
(Latin America and the Caribbean: 7 countries)
Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Belize, Bolivia, Honduras
(Africa: 10 countries)
Botswana, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo
About the Government of Japan:
Japan provides funds (grants, loans, etc.) and technologies that are useful for “development”, including peacebuilding, governance, promotion of basic human rights and humanitarian assistance, in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to eligible countries and regions. ODA includes bilateral aid to directly assist developing countries and regions, and multilateral aid, which consist of contributions to international organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, and WHO.
UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being 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.