UNICEF welcomes Japan’s contribution

UNICEF PNG welcomes US$ 5 million contribution from Japan to help strengthen Papua New Guinea’s immunization system during the global pandemic.

The US$5.0 million is to help strengthen the capacity of vaccine cold chain logistics in support of the country’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Provincial health authorities and health facilities in 17 provinces in the country will benefit from this contribution that will help support vital cold chain logistics required to safely store and provide COVID-19 vaccines and also support the routine immunization program.

This will help prevent the stock out of essential vaccines for children in the country.

Specifically, the funding will contribute to:

  • Procurement, supply and installation of 172 vaccine refrigerators,
  • Four cold rooms, to scale up the vaccine storage capacity in national, provincial and health facility level stores.
  • Procurement of 30 vehicles to support and improve immunization service delivery through mobile and outreach clinics,  
  • Distribution of vaccines to communities in hard to reach areas,
  • Six incinerators to safely treat clinical waste in health facilities,
  • Two generators to ensure uninterrupted power supply needed to maintain effective vaccine temperatures at the national and provincial vaccine stores during power outages.

 Secretary for the National Department of Health, Dr. Osborne Liko said during the handing over of the Cold Chain equipment this week that Papua New Guinea is grateful for the friendship and support of the Government of Japan and the Japanese people in a time of need.  

“This donation will greatly assist Papua New Guinea’s efforts to bolster the country’s response to COVID-19 and will also go a long way to strengthen the system so that we are better placed to manage routine immunization into the future,” Dr. Liko said.

Japanese Ambassador to PNG, Kuniyuki Nakahara said: “Vaccination is the key to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it is also necessary to secure the logistical aspect to ensure PNG’s vaccination program is successful.

This Grant Aid is aimed at assisting the delivery of vaccines to each and every person who wishes to get vaccinated in all corners of PNG. In supporting the development of cold chains for vaccines, Japan will also provide vaccines to PNG through COVAX in collaboration with UNICEF.

“UNICEF is grateful to the Government of Japan for its generous contribution that will not only improve COVID-19 vaccine management, but also support the implementation of an ongoing robust rehabilitation plan that started in 2017.

“This is aimed at improving the country’s immunization supply chain to help scale up routine immunization vaccine distribution in the long run,” UNICEF Representative, Dr. Kamenga said.

He added that an effective cold chain system is key to ensuring the potency of vaccines at different levels of the immunization supply chain in a country.

UNICEF is working with the PNG Government to help prevent the spread of the virus among communities, as well as supporting the vital procurement of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.

This funding is part of the broader Japanese grant aid of approximately JPY 2,253,000,000, to 14 countries in the Pacific including PNG.

Press Release