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Pakistan receives Japanese grant for polio eradication
Publication Date : 08-03-2014
The campaign to eradicate polio from Pakistan received a major boost on Friday when the Japanese government handed over a grant of 400 million Pakistani rupees (US$3.9 million) to Unicef to procure oral polio vaccine and cold chain equipment and for capacity building programme.
Signing the document with Unicef for prompt disbursement of the grant, Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata said that Pakistan and international development partners should not reduce their efforts for polio eradication, despite facing the challenges.
"Japan's commitment and strong partnership with polio-infected countries will continue until complete eradication of polio from the world," he said.
The Japanese government had been supporting polio eradication initiative in Pakistan since 1996. Total Japanese grant assistance by 2013 comes to approximately $90.95 million, accounting for 22 per cent of all OPV procured so far.
Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) in Pakistan, Kawasaki paid tribute to the hard work done by those involved in vaccination campaigns.
"This year's grant assistance will enable Unicef to procure 15m OPV doses and 255 solar-powered ice line refrigerators, particularly for heavy loadshedding areas in Fata and Balochistan." This grant will serve as a drive for the final phase of Pakistan's fight against polio virus" Kawasaki explained.
He said Jica is about to start a new technical cooperation project for routine immunisation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for three years starting in May. Through the bottom-up support in the field, the project will contribute the province to achieve over 80pc coverage of routine immunisation.
Unicef Representative in Pakistan Dan Rohrmann thanked the Japanese government which is one of the leading supporters of Unicef.