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Japan donates close to US $2 million for child survival in Liberia

© UNICEF Liberia/2008/Jallanzo
UNICEF Liberia Representative Rozanne Chorlton exchanging notes with Mr. Yutaka Nakamura, the Embassy of Japan Charge d'Affaires in Liberia in presence of Dr. Moses Pewu, Assistant Minister for Curative Services.
MONROVIA, 10 March 2008 - The Government of  Japan (GOJ) and UNICEF signed today, in the presence of the Assistant Minister for Curative Services of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, a new protocol agreement for 200 million Japanese Yens (US $1.87 million) for the prevention of infectious diseases in children in Liberia.  This project which will benefit some 700,000 children and women aims to reduce the under five mortality rates through improved immunization coverage and the prevention and treatment of malaria.

Access to primary health care services remains extremely low at around 40 per cent, especially in the south-east.  Easily prevented or treated ailments including malaria, acute respiratory tract infections, diarrheoal related diseases and measles continue to be major childhood killers.  Malaria alone accounts for 50 per cent of all illnesses, and up to 18 per cent of all under-five deaths.

The grant from the Government of Japan will enable UNICEF to support nationwide immunization activities through procurement and distribution of vaccines, social mobilization of communities as well as malaria control activities.  125,000, long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets and anti-malaria medicines will be distributed for children and pregnant women throughout the country.  The initiative is a continuation of previous GOJ support to Liberian children and will further consolidate the Government of Liberia’s achievements in child survival.

This new donation places the Government of Japan as the largest single direct donor to UNICEF Liberia over the last five years with a total contribution of more than US $18 million.  These contributions have helped UNICEF play a vital role in supporting the government in providing life-saving activities, for the revitalization of communities, the reintegration of demobilized children, for post conflict reconstruction, the provision of safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene in areas of high population return.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information please contact:
Yvette Bivigou, Officer in Charge of Communication, UNICEF Liberia, Cel: +231 689 6362, Email: elotracy@yahoo.fr
Adolphus Scott, Assistant Communication Officer, UNICEF Liberia, Cel: +231 6 526607, Email: ascott@unicef.org




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