Japan contributes $5.5 million to strengthen health systems and vaccine delivery across Afghanistan
KABUL, 18 October 2022
This fund will allow UNICEF to improve cold chain equipment to ensure sustainable immunization programming against infectious diseases, including COVID-19, for over 24 million adults and 8 million children under five.
KABUL, October 18, 2022 – Amidst the continuing humanitarian crisis across Afghanistan, the Government of Japan has contributed $5.5 million for “The Project for Enhancing the Health System through the Improvement of Cold Chain Equipment” to safeguard the lives of over 24 million adults with COVID-19 vaccines, and 8 million children under five with critical immunisations and newborn care. The project will be implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
These funds will help Afghanistan to strengthen its management of vaccines through safe storage, including walk-in cold rooms, insulated vehicles and solar energy systems, so that COVID-19 vaccines, routine and other Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA) vaccines can be delivered safely.
Additionally, the funding will enable technicians to be trained to better maintain Cold Chain Equipment; 6,000 community health workers will receive training on COVID-19 vaccines, gender, and interpersonal communications; and over 5,000 women will receive information on COVID-19 vaccines and health services.
“As winter sets in and the threat of communicable disease rises, we are grateful to the Government of Japan, and the people of Japan, for this generous funding which will enable UNICEF and our partners to further strengthen Afghanistan’s health system, and increase the reach of life-saving vaccines, including to women and children under the age of five,” said Dr. Alice Akunga, Deputy Representative, UNICEF Afghanistan.
This contribution from the Government of Japan is the latest expression of support for the people of Afghanistan and follows a $9.2 million (¥1.2 billion) contribution to UNICEF made in May 2022 to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including polio.