Japan pledges over $21 million to UNICEF in support of Afghanistan

UNICEF announced Monday that the government of Japan has donated over $21 million for life saving vaccines for mothers and children and water and sanitation facilities in public schools.

Of the $21 million, $18 million will be used for essential vaccines and $3.6 million will be used for water and sanitation facilities in public schools.

The vaccines, which will help 18 million mothers and children, include measles, rotavirus, tetanus and diphtheria, polio, hepatitis B and others. These funds will also enable UNICEF to reach around 10 million children with oral polio vaccines during national vaccination campaigns in 2023.

The $3.6 million will enable UNICEF and partners to provide clean water, ventilated latrines, and handwashing stations to 10,000 students – 50 percent of whom are girls – in 20 schools. Additionally, these services will benefit a further 20,000 community members who will use the new water sources. These funds will also support teachers and community members with hygiene education to prevent the spread of disease.

“Japan’s long standing support of children and mothers in Afghanistan is exemplary and much appreciated. These latest contributions build on previous years’ aid from the Government of Japan. The combination of a harsh winter and the ongoing humanitarian crisis means that mothers and children are vulnerable and at risk of communicable diseases. This support will not only help to give them the immunity boost they need to stay healthy, but it will also improve sanitation and hygiene in schools,” said Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Afghanistan Deputy Representative.

Access to clean water and toilets are the basic rights of all children; it is the foundation of childhood health, nutrition and education, UNICEF stated.

“The Government and people of Japan recognize the tremendous humanitarian needs in Afghanistan,” says Takashi Okada, Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan. “Complementing our past support to Afghanistan in health, nutrition and education, we hope these contributions will create cleaner, safer learning environments and communities for children and their families.”

Water and sanitation activities supported by this funding will be implemented in Ghor, Uruzgan, Zabul and Paktika provinces that are among the most deprived in Afghanistan. Immunization will be supported in all 34 provinces.