Japan donates an additional US$10 million to UNICEF to support COVID-19 vaccination in Latin America and the Caribbean

15 March 2022
UNICEF staff showing solar panels and refrigerators.
Cecilia de Bustos, Health and Nutrition Specialist and Pilar Escudero, Communication Associate of UNICEF Guatemala at the official delivery event of the equipment to support the cold chain in Guatemala, showing solar panels and refrigerators.

PANAMA CITY, March 15, 2022 - As part of the efforts to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Government of Japan contributes US$10 million to UNICEF to strengthen cold chain systems and build local capacities for vaccine management in Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras.

This additional funding complements a 2021 donation of US$11.11 million to six other countries[1] in the region for enhancing their capacity for effective and inclusive COVID-19 vaccination.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected Latin America and the Caribbean and continues to do so in 2022, maintaining the urgent need to increase vaccination efforts across all countries. The region, which is home to only 8 per cent of the total global population, has reported close to 66 million cases and over 1.7 million deaths, respectively 15 per cent and 28 per cent of the total global burden by end February 2022.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on families and children in Latin America and the Caribbean, UNICEF is scaling up its support to governments  across the region to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are effectively delivered and available to the most vulnerable populations,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “The support from the Government of Japan is a critical contribution to UNICEF´s work and will play a key role in safeguarding that vaccination efforts in the region leave no one behind.”

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 with a long-term vision to strengthen overall healthcare systems, including for routine immunization. By the end of February 2022, about 1 billion doses have been administered in the region, including doses obtained through bilateral agreements, donations and those delivered through the COVAX mechanism with UNICEF support in coordination with PAHO, GAVI and CEPI.

UNICEF continues to support demand creation for the COVID-19 vaccine and work to reduce vaccine hesitancy and combat misinformation through both widespread communication campaigns and community engagement at the local level. UNICEF also advocates for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for highly vulnerable groups, including refugees and migrants.

UNICEF thanks the Government of Japan for its donation to UNICEF’s 2022 Humanitarian Action for Children Appeal for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) which requests US$933 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.


[1] Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Venezuela

Media contacts

Laurent Duvillier
Regional Chief of Communication
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: + 507 3017393
Tel: + 507 6169 9886
Alfonso Fernández Reca
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 69412277,


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