Japan grants $2.62m for polio eradication in Pakistan

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The government of Japan decided on Monday to extend a grant of 226 million Japanese Yen (approximately US$ 2.62 million) to Pakistan through UNICEF to support the polio eradication program in Pakistan.
Roughly, US$ 2 million out of the total grant would cover the procurement of approximately 13 million doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV), and the rest would meet the cost of social mobilisation activities. The notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between Japanese Chargé d’Affaires to Pakistan Akira Kono and UNICEF Pakistan Deputy Representative Karen Allen. Inter Provincial Coordination Secretary Faridullah Khan was also present to witness the signing.
The government of Japan has focused on polio eradication as a global challenge on public health of the human race. Since 1996, Japan has provided assistance for polio eradication every year through UNICEF and these efforts have accumulated to approximately US$ 91 million. In addition, in 2011, Japan renewed its commitment to this endeavor by providing a soft loan of approximately US$ 65 million in order to make Pakistan a polio-fee country.
In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Kono said, “Japan’s commitment and strong partnership with polio infected countries as well as development partners would continue until the day of complete eradication of polio from the world.”
Kono took the opportunity to renew Japan’s sincere gratitude to the international community, including Pakistan, for their support to Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent tsunami which took place on March 11, 2011, exactly two years ago.
Today’s signing, according to Kono, showed how Japan had continued its commitment to socio-economic well-being in the world despite the challenging situation in Japan.
He expressed his hope that this grant would contribute to strengthen the existing friendly relation between the people of Japan and Pakistan.