Japan strengthens Jamaica’s COVID fight with US$1.22-m donation

THE Government of Japan has donated US$1.22 million to Jamaica to purchase equipment for the country’s vaccination programme.

The money is being channelled through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Japanese Embassy in Kingston said in a release.

“The grant has been earmarked to purchase cold chain equipment such as cold-storage facilities and capacity-building to support equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across Jamaica and enhance the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ National COVID-19 deployment and vaccination interim plan,” the release said.

“Adding to previous donation of around two million United States dollars worth of medical equipment and supplies which were handed over in February 2021. The Government of Japan also decided to provide this emergency aid to support Jamaica’s COVID response mechanism,” added the release.

According to the embassy, ensuring equitable access globally including developing countries and accelerating vaccination is the common challenge for the international community towards the goal of containing COVID-19, adding that Japan has been contributing to formulating the COVAX Facility, an international mechanism for the procurement of vaccines, and has made financial contribution of US$200 million in total.

“We are pleased to make this ‘One Last One Mile Support’ contribution through UNICEF. This aims at ensuring equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine across Jamaica by providing cold chain equipment which is urgently needed. Enhancing universal health care, in particular fighting against infectious diseases is Japan’s top priority. No one is safe unless everyone is safe. Japan stands in solidarity with the people and Government of Jamaica to boost its health capacity while building a resilient society and economy so that the most vulnerable people will not be left behind.” said Masaya Fujiwara, ambassador of Japan to Jamaica.

Said the embassy release: “Japan’s Emergency Grant Aid aims to deliver vaccines to each and every person in all corners of developing countries, which will complement efforts of the COVAX Facility.”

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