March 11, 2013
Mr. Toshiya Sato, Senior Representative of JICA and Ms. Karen Allen Deputy Representative of UNICEF Pakistan exchanging Grant Agreement for the release of funds from JICA to UNICEF
Islamabad, March 11, 2013: A Grant Agreement on the provision of funds worth Two Hundred and Twenty Six million (226,000,000) Japanese Yen for "The Project for the Control and Eradication of Poliomyelitis" in Pakistan was executed between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the procurement of oral polio vaccine and social mobilization during the year 2013.
Mr. Akira Kono, Charge' d' Affaires, Embassy of Japan in Pakistan and Ms Karen Allen, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Pakistan, signed the Exchange of Notes. Mr. Toshiya Sato, Senior Representative of JICA and Ms. Karen Allen signed the Grant Agreement for the release of funds for the said purpose.
The Government of Japan has supported the Polio Eradication Initiative in Pakistan since 1996. Total grant assistance made so far by the Government of Japan comes up to approximately US$ 91.92 million, and has accounted for 26% of all oral polio vaccine procured so far. This is a significant contribution towards reducing the number of polio cases in Pakistan. For the past 17 years, Japan's support has been instrumental in ensuring that sufficient quantities of vaccine are in place and to ensure a sustained cold chain to protect their potency. Since the programme was launched, the number of cases has been reduced from more than 30,000 in 1994 down to 58 in 2012.
Furthermore, JICA plans to implement a three year technical cooperation project titled "Strengthening of Routine Immunization" in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The Project is expected to improve the immunization services through training of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) human resource in all the 25 districts of KP and conduct social mobilization activities thus helping to mitigate the scourge of polio. JICA intends to involve all the partners active in these areas for information sharing and mutual planning process.
In August 2011, JICA signed a Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to provide a loan of up to 4,993 million Yen (approx. 65million USD) for assistance for the Polio Eradication Project. The objective of the project is to optimize immunization of polio vaccines to children less than 5 years old, by procuring vaccines and providing services necessary for polio immunization activities, thereby contributing to the eradication of polio in Pakistan.