MANILA – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is giving additional support to the Philippines' COVID-19 response through laboratory equipment and supplies for use of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) and San Lazaro Hospital as virus cases rise. The laboratory equipment and supplies will further boost the testing capacity of the two facilities and ensure quality of test results.
Said support complements the earlier 50 billion yen COVID-19 Crisis Emergency Support of Japan to the Philippines that sought to strengthen the Philippines' response to the pandemic and revitalize economic activities.
Both RITM and San Lazaro Hospital are institutional partners of JICA in addressing public health challenges since the 1960s. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Philippines ranked second in Southeast Asia in total number of COVID-19 cases at 68,898 (as of 20 July 2020) next to Indonesia's 88,214. Government statistics also pointed to high unemployment in the country due to the effect of COVID-19 to the economy.
"COVID-19 is not only a challenge of one nation, but of the rest of the world. JICA will continue to work closely with our partner nations like the Philippines, as we have done in the past, so we can get through this public health challenge together," said Chief Representative Azukizawa Eigo of JICA Philippine Office.
JICA expressed confidence that through international cooperation, the global community will overcome the current challenge.
JICA is a major Philippine source of Official Development Assistance (ODA), with 3.6 trillion yen cumulative ODA assistance amount as of 2018. - PR