LIBERIA: Japan Extends Emergency Aid to Liberia, supports COVID-19 response
The Japanese Ambassador H.E HIMENO Tsutomu launched two programmes to strengthen the delivery of routine health services in health facilities and communities during COVID-19 and improving cold chain management worth US$ 2,499,900:00. These two programme fundings are part of Japan’s support to the Government of Liberia’s efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic through partnership with UNICEF.
The project strengthening routine health services in health facilities and communities programme will be implemented in Montserrado and Margibi and aimed to benefit over 43,000 children and 12,000 pregnant women in over 150 communities. While the improving the cold chain programme will equip 190 health facilities with cold chain equipment and train 245 technicians and health workers to provide services for over 400,000 beneficiaries.
COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on the health sector and the delivery of essential public health services in Liberia with a 40 per cent overall decline in health facility utilization thereby impacting access to critical services such as immunization, birth registration and nutrition which are all provided within health facilities. This supported being provided by the Government of Japan is very timely and will go a long way to support the ongoing COVID-19 response as well as strengthen the resilience of the health system
Since 2020 the Government of Japan has provided UNICEF with a total of US$ 2.7 million to support the critical delivery of services to the women and children in Liberia. The Government of Japan’s main thematic priorities have remained EPI/Polio, Cold Chain system strengthening, provision of Health, WASH, Nutrition and Birth registration services to the most vulnerable population
“We thank the Government of Japan for its continued cooperation with UNICEF to support the children in Liberia during this global pandemic,” said Laila O. Gad, UNICEF Representative in Liberia “UNICEF will continue to work closely with the Government of Liberia, UN agencies and partners, to ensure the health system in the country is well equipped and health workers are well trained to respond appropriately to the threats of COVID-19.”
With this funding, UNICEF will continue its support to the Government of Liberia in its efforts to combat COVID-19 through the provision of cold chain equipment, strengthening the health system and building the capacities of the service providers.
Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of approximately 39 million US dollars to six Latin America and the Caribbean countries and 25 African countries that suffer from the impact of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
Japan has been contributing to formulating the COVAX Facility, an international mechanism for the procurement of vaccines, and has already made financial contribution of 200 million US dollars in total. Japan’s Emergency Grant Aid this time aims to deliver vaccines to each and every person in all corners of developing countries, which will complement efforts of the COVAX Facility.
Expected results under the funding includes:
• Over 43,000 children under 5 years, 11,600 pregnant and lactating women have increased access to and utilization of quality integrated package of preventative and curative services (health, nutrition, WASH and birth registration services) in Montserrado and Margibi counties. This includes the procurement of essential medical supplies and logistics.
• Increasing the capacity of 10,000 households in infection prevention and control (IPC) as well as best practices in maternal and childcare practices.
• Procurement and installation solar direct drive refrigerators for 190 health facilities providing COVID-19 vaccination services as well as regular immunization services.
• Procurement and installation of 40kVA generator at National Vaccine Store
• Procurement of passive containers like 200 cold boxes and 300 vaccine carriers for transporting vaccines to service delivery points at primary health care level.
• 35 cold chain technicians are trained on operation and maintenance of new CCE
• 210 staffs from health facility and county level will be trained on use and monitoring of the CCE and COVID-19 vaccines
• 3 cold chain technicians supporting CCE management and vaccine management in 190 health facilities