Japan contributes US$1.3 million to strengthen immunization in the Central Africa Republic

YAOUNDE, 1 December 2021

UNICEF Central African Republic

YAOUNDE, 1 December 2021- This morning, the Government of Japan and UNICEF concluded an Agreement to provide Central African Republic (CAR) with a grant amount of US$ 1,346,535 to support the “Project for Strengthening Access to Immunization” in CAR.

The signing ceremony and exchange of Notes took place at UNICEF Country office in Yaounde, Cameroun, where the Embassy of Japan is located. The agreement document was signed respectively by IKEDA Kiyohiko, Chargé d'affaires ad interim of the Japanese Embassy in Cameroon and Central African Republic, and by Jacques Boyer UNICEF Representative in Chad, who signed on behalf of the Central Africa Republic. The signing ceremony was attended by Fran Equiza, the UNICEF Representative in the Central Africa Republic, who participated via video conference.

The government of Japan is already an important collaborating partner of UNICEF- Central Africa Republic. With this new Agreement, providing the grant for Health programmes in the Central Africa Republic and specifically to support activities around the country for the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). The Central Africa Republic is one of the countries with very poor health indicators. The country has the 2nd highest neonatal mortality rate in the world.

“This cooperation will contribute to the promotion of universal health coverage in the Central Africa Republic,” says IKEDA Kiyohiko, Chargés d'affaires ad interim of the Japanese Embassy in the Central African Republic. “Our contribution also reflects the firm determination of the people of Japan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.”

Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in CAR believes that vaccines give the right and the best start for children to stay alive and to survive. “Every child must receive BCG vaccines at birth, not even one day later, together with all the other vaccines that should protect baby against preventable childhood diseases.”

While the bulk of the vaccination activities are intended for babies and infants, it is important to protect the mothers when they are pregnant. It is therefore worthy of note that this grant from the government of Japan will cover 90% of CAR‘s vaccine needs for BCG, 59% for Measles, 56% for bOPV, and 5% for YF for children at birth over the next 12 months. The grant will also enable Central Africa Republic to provide adequate protect 52% of pregnant women against Tetanus.

Some of the funds will be allocated to health activities at the community level, with the view to enhancing health services in communities - equipping and involving community agents and structures in the vaccination programmes in certain areas in CAR.