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Japan Government extends over US$1,6 million to Uganda to boost its COVID-19 response

KAMPALA: The Government of Japan on 27 April extended an emergency aid grant worth US$1,640,442 (over UGX 5.8 billion) to Uganda to boost the country’s COVID-19 response.

The assistance channeled through the United Nations Children’s Fund – UNICEF, will provide Uganda with cold chain equipment including medical equipment such as cold-storage facilities and transportation, as “Last One Mile Support” to ensure vaccination in the country.

Uganda is among 31 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa that have benefited from a US$39 million Japanese Government emergency aid extended to countries suffering from the impact of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

“Currently, ensuring equitable access globally including in developing countries and accelerating vaccination is the common challenge for the international community towards the goal of containing COVID-19. Japan has been contributing to formulating the COVAX Facility, an international mechanism for the procurement of vaccines, and has already made financial contribution of US$200 million,” said H.E Hidemoto Fukuzawa, the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Uganda.

Japan’s emergency aid grant this time around aims to deliver vaccines to each and every person in the all corners of developing countries, which will complement efforts of the COVAX Facility.

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner. UNICEF is handling the procurement and delivery of the vaccines and related supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility.

Based on our experience in helping to build medical supply networks that reach every corner of developing countries, Japan will continue to extend support to deploy vaccines to every person in the world with a view to containing COVID-19 as quickly as possible,” further said Fukuzawa.

The UNICEF Representative in Uganda, Dr. Munir Safieldin says the funds will be used to procure solar direct drive vaccine refrigerators (106), cold boxes (190), vaccine carriers (2,200), generators (10) and support cold chain repairs and maintenance.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant consequences not only in Uganda but the world over. The children have not been spared either. UNICEF is supporting the Government of Uganda and working with different partners to make every effort to protect children, including through our efforts to build more resilient communities,” Munir said.

Munir expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan for this timely assistance which will go along way to support the Government of Uganda COVID-19 vaccination efforts and ensure that all the vaccines received in the initial phase from the COVAX facility and Government of Uganda are fully used in time.

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