Japan provides $6.9 million in aid to Afghanistan for immunization efforts

Japan has allocated $6.9 million to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for life-saving interventions in Afghanistan, according to a UNICEF statement.

The funds, facilitated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), aim to address urgent health needs and rights of Afghan children and women.

The grant will enable UNICEF to purchase vaccines and supplies necessary for routine immunization services and vaccination campaigns throughout Afghanistan.

This initiative is expected to protect 4.1 million children and women from measles, tuberculosis, polio, hepatitis B, and tetanus through routine immunization services.

Additionally, it will support a national polio vaccination campaign targeting 4.7 million children.

“Polio transmission resurged in 2023, pointing to immunity gaps, particularly in previously inaccessible locations and among mobile and cross-border populations,” the statement noted.

Kuromiya Takayoshi, the Japanese ambassador to Afghanistan, reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to supporting Afghanistan’s routine immunization programs for women and children.

Tajudeen Oyewale, UNICEF’s director in Afghanistan, highlighted the critical nature of these efforts. “Polio is a devastating disease that can alter the lives of children. These diseases are also preventable. Vaccines are a reliable and cost-effective method to protect children from these deadly infectious diseases,” he stated.

The statement also mentioned that the risk of exposure to deadly preventable diseases remains high in Afghanistan, which continues to be one of the last two countries in the world where polio has not been eradicated.