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Press Releases

May 20, 2016

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with Pakistan: Partnering with the Gates Foundation toward Eradicating Polio

photoSigning ceremony

On May 19, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to 6.29 billion yen for assistance for the Polio Eradication Project (Phase 2).

An infectious disease occurring primarily in infants, polio may result in lifelong paralysis in the areas of the body it infects, such as the arms or legs. Because polio can be prevented through vaccination, Japan and other members of the international community are focusing efforts on eliminating polio as the next eradicable infectious disease after smallpox. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 350,000 polio victims worldwide in 1988 and only 74 new contractions in 2015, bringing the disease within one step of eradication. In 2014, an announcement of polio’s eradication was made in India, and in July 2014, Nigeria, the one remaining country in Africa with polio, was removed from the list of countries with polio after confirmation of no new contractions for a year. The polio virus is today believed to remain only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the governments of both of those countries are pushing intensive measures along with the international community toward eradication. From 2014 to 2015, the number of polio contractions decreased steeply in Pakistan from 306 to 54, that latter number accounting for about 70 percent of all contractions in the world that year, so a final push for eradication is needed.

Under the Emergency Plan for Polio Eradication, formulated by the Government of Pakistan toward eradicating polio between 2016 and 2018, this project will support the procurement of polio vaccines and inoculation activities in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), WHO and other international agencies, and with the Islamic Development Bank, the Rotary Foundation and other organizations. The project will adopt a “Loan Conversion” mechanism in cooperation with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation),* which set a mission of eradicating polio worldwide. Under the “Loan Conversion” mechanism, the Gates Foundation will repay the Japanese ODA loan for Pakistan if specific goals set for this project are met through the efforts of the Government of Pakistan. It is expected that this arrangement will reduce the fiscal burden on the Government of Pakistan required to carry out polio countermeasures toward eradicating polio. This is the third time for JICA to partner with the Gates Foundation, following the Polio Eradication Project funded by a Japanese ODA loan to Pakistan signed in 2011 and the Polio Eradication Project funded by a Japanese ODA loan to Nigeria signed in 2014.

Other assistance Japan has provided for supporting polio eradication initiatives in Pakistan includes assistance to procure polio vaccinations and establish cold chains through the Polio Eradication Program (fiscal years 1996–2012) and the Project for the Control and Eradication of Poliomyelitis in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (fiscal years 2013–2015) in partnership with UNICEF, and expanded efforts at regular inoculation through the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) (September 2006 to September 2011). This project will further strengthen this on-going cooperation and provide support for the last step in eradicating polio by the Government of Pakistan.


1. Terms and Amount of Loans

Project title Amount (million yen) Annual interest rate (%) Repayment
period
(years)
Grace
period
(years)
Procurement
Project Consulting services
Polio Eradication Project (Phase 2) 6,290 Yen LIBOR -100 bp - 40 10 General untied

2. Executing Agency
Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination
Address: LG&RD Complex, G/5-2, Islamabad, Pakistan

3. Planned Implementation Schedule
(1) Completion of project: December 2018 (with completion of the polio campaign planned for 2018)
(2) Consulting services: No procurement is planned for this project.
(3) Tender announcement of initial procurement package for international competitive bidding on project construction: No procurement is planned for this project.

* Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Under the philosophy that “all lives have equal value,” the Gates Foundation carries out activities with a focus on extreme poverty and weak health care systems in developing countries, and on the field of education in the United States. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington in the United States, the Gates Foundation operates under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffet. Sue Desmond-Hellman is the CEO and William H. Gates, Sr., is a co-chair of the foundation.

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