MANILA – The Japanese government has pledged PHP190 million to strengthen UNICEF’s support to the Philippines’ COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
“The costs of the pandemic for children are immediate and, if unaddressed, may persist throughout their lives. The availability and equitable distribution of vaccines is critical for putting an end to this global pandemic. We thank the Government of Japan for their support in ensuring a robust cold chain is in place and immunization services are strengthened,” UNICEF Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov said in a statement on Wednesday.
The funding would enable UNICEF in the Philippines to provide around 147 health facilities with vaccine cold rooms and solar refrigerators and 2,000 health facilities with temperature monitoring devices.
It would also provide training for over 50 technicians to operate and maintain the new facilities, and equip 300 health care facility staff with the necessary skills for its use and monitoring.
Other components of the program include the development of immunization policy and procedures; building surveillance and in-country laboratory capacities for the early detection, investigation, and management of vaccine preventable diseases; and management and strengthening of information management systems.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said Japan would continue to provide a helping hand to Filipino children in dire situations due to the pandemic.
“We are grateful to UNICEF for its dedication in spearheading this initiative, which could not be more significant in this difficult time,” he conveyed. “We trust that the strong ties between Japan and the Philippines will be deepened even amid this rapidly changing environment.”
The pledge is part of Japan’s assistance to the Philippines and 24 other nations in the Asia-Pacific region amounting to approximately ¥4.5 billion. - FJJ, UNICEF