Japan contributes US$1.22 million to enhance cold chain capacity for COVID-19 vaccination in Jamaica
Enabling UNICEF to increase support for Ministry of Health and Wellness
KINGSTON, 29 May 2021 – The Government of Japan has contributed US$1.22 million in Emergency Grant Aid to UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to support effective and inclusive COVID-19 vaccination in Jamaica. Japan’s contribution will strengthen cold chain systems and enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Health & Wellness workers to manage and accelerate the national vaccine rollout.
“Thanks to Japan, UNICEF is delighted to extend our support to the ministry assisting with the entire supply chain, from being a part of COVAX in helping deliver vaccines to Jamaica, to providing a digital platform to help health workers efficiently and securely the data from members of the public who register to get vaccination. This donation is another example of how increased international cooperation on vaccination can help bring this pandemic to an end – saving lives, rebuilding societies, reopening schools and reducing the harmful secondary impacts on children,” said UNICEF Jamaica Country Representative Mariko Kagoshima.
Japan is investing a total of US$11.1 million assisting a total of six countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.
“Enhancing universal health coverage, in particular fighting against infectious diseases is Japan’ s priority. This “Last One Mile Support” through UNICEF will provide Cold Chain Equipment to ensure equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine across Jamaica. The Government of Japan hopes that this donation will further support the ongoing effective implementation of the Jamaican Government’s COVID-19 measures, building upon the donation of medical equipment valued at around US$2 million donated earlier this year,” said Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica Masaya Fujiwara.
Since the onset of the pandemic, COVID-19 heavily affected Latin America and the Caribbean and continues to do so in 2021. As of April 28, Jamaica has recorded 45,208 cases, including 767 deaths. Accelerating an inclusive and efficient roll out of COVID-19 vaccines is at the forefront of UNICEF´s priorities globally and in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness welcomes this donation and I wish to express our sincere thanks to the government and people of Japan, as well as UNICEF, which has continue to support the efforts of the Jamaican government, as we embark on our vaccination implementation program. Partnership remains critical to us in public health and this pandemic has further underscored the tremendous working relationship that we have with our international stakeholders, of which we are most grateful for,” noted Dr. Hon. Christopher Tufton, MP, Minister of Health and Wellness.
Across the Latin American and Caribbean region, UNICEF is supporting countries to prepare their immunization programmes for this historic vaccine rollout through advocacy, procurement of cold chain and logistic equipment, training of health workers and technical assistance.
In total, 24 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean have received at least a first batch of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, totaling more than 6.9 million doses, with UNICEF support in coordination with PAHO, GAVI and CEPI. Jamaica received it second shipment from COVAX, containing 55,000 doses earlier this week.
UNICEF thanks the Government of Japan for its donation to UNICEF’s 2021 Humanitarian Action for Children Appeal for “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A)” which requests US$659 million to enable UNICEF and partners to support global efforts to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
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 in Jamaica, visit www.unicef.org/jamaica.