UNICEF welcomes Japan’s contribution to strengthen the cold chain system in South Sudan
Juba, South Sudan, 7 May 2021 – The Government of Japan has donated over $1 million to UNICEF South Sudan to improve cold chain management and support the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. This contribution was made as part of the Emergency Grant Aid of approximately $39 million to Latin America and the Caribbean countries as well as African countries.
The contribution aims to provide “Last One Mile Support” to ensure vaccination throughout the country. It will help South Sudan in its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, by improving the vaccine and cold chain management through enhanced infrastructure, storage, transportation and training for healthcare staff.
“We thank the Government of Japan for this important financial contribution. Cold chain capabilities are essential for storing and transporting vaccines which need to be kept at cool temperatures to remain effective, including the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan.
With the funding from the Government of Japan, one freezer room will be procured and installed for use at the National Vaccine Store for storage of vaccines and COVID-19 reagents requiring sub-zero temperature. Furthermore, it will help to equip the cold rooms and vaccine refrigerators in the states with programmable remote temperature monitoring devices, and support procurement and installation of 500 refrigerators to be deployed throughout the country. The funding will also support the procurement and replacement of cold chain generators.
Last year, Japan provided approximately $0.5 million to UNICEF South Sudan to support the improvement of infection and prevention control and provision of critical medical and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
TSUTSUMI Naohiro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Sudan, expressed the hope that Japan’s series of assistance in cooperation with UNICEF helps improve the public health service in South Sudan.
He said: “I hope that this emergency grant, together with the previous year’s assistance, contributes to delivering necessary medical services including vaccines to every person in the country with a view to containing COVID-19 as quickly as possible, which accordingly saves more lives.”
Following the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in South Sudan, thanks to the COVAX facility, the Ministry of Health started the roll-out of a vaccination campaign, according to its COVID-19 National Vaccine Deployment Plan.
In the build-up of the plan, the Government of South Sudan together with its partners, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, had assessed the country’s cold chain capacity. The assessment identified areas that this new funding will help strengthen, both in terms of cold chain equipment as well as building the capacity of healthcare staff.
“The funds provided by the Government of Japan are essential to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. The investment in the cold chain system will also serve the immunization programme to reach all women and children in South Sudan with lifesaving vaccines,” said Ms. Lasseko.
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 in South Sudan visit: www.unicef.org/southsudan