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Japan and UNICEF partnership to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Samoa

The Government of Japan and UNICEF have handed over three 4×4 vehicles along with motor vehicle accessories to the Ministry of Health in Samoa today to boost COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the country.

“The vehicles and accessories will boost our efforts in striving to achieve our vaccination targets to ensure total population coverage” says the Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri.

These vehicles and accessories are expected to support the Government of Samoa’s efforts to vaccinate all the eligible population through strengthening the cold chain management system. The vehicles will help deliver life-saving vaccines to health facilities and communities in the country, providing a significant improvement to the health system.

“Japan is a committed partner that has been focusing on strengthening health care systems in developing countries under the principle of ensuring human security for many years and promoting infection control measures and led initiatives toward achieving universal health coverage that “leaves no one behind” at various international summits. As part of the international concerted efforts, we are keen to play a part to assist the efforts of the Government of Samoa through our partnership with UNICEF in providing transportation as ‘last one mile-support’ to ensure vaccination for all Samoans,” said Mr. Kazuo Tsukada, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan.

While Samoa has not had any community transmission, the global pandemic still presents a serious risk to the country, with the limited resources available to fight the deadly disease.

“We appreciate the Government of Japan’s partnership in providing essential support to boost Samoa’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out,” said UNICEF Pacific’s Chief of Samoa Field Office, Dr. Annefrida Kisesa. “We also congratulate the Government of Samoa in its successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which has led to over 80% of the eligible population now fully vaccinated. We will continue to work with the Government of Samoa to ensure that vaccination rates increase rapidly in order to protect the population against possible outbreaks, especially with the emergence of new variants.”

UNICEF and the Government of Japan have been working closely with the Government of Samoa and other Pacific Island countries to help prevent the introduction and spread of the virus among communities. This includes supporting the vital procurement of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility as well as providing technical and financial resources for the roll out of vaccination in the country.

Notes to Editors:

This funding is part of the broader Japanese Emergency Grant Aid of approximately USD 41 million to 25 countries in Southeast and Southwest Asia and the Pacific (approximately USD 9 million to 10 Pacific Island Countries). The 25 countries include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

About the Government of Japan:

Japan provides funds (grants, loans, etc.) and technologies that are useful for “development”, including peacebuilding, governance, promotion of basic human rights and humanitarian assistance, in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to eligible countries and regions. ODA includes bilateral aid to directly assist developing countries and regions, and multilateral aid, which consist of contributions to international organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, and WHO.

Source: UN Children’s Fund