Government of Japan agreed today to extend to the
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) a grant assistance
of Rs.32 crore (798 million yen) for the Intensified
Pulse Polio Immunization (IPPI) campaign to eradicate
poliomyelitis from India. Notes to this effect were
signed and exchanged between H.E. Mr. Yasukuni Enoki,
Ambassador of Japan to India, and Ms. Erma Manoncourt,
Officer-in-Charge, UNICEF India country office, at
a ceremony held in the Embassy of Japan today.
Polio Eradication Campaign in India
Polio eradication campaign is a world-wide program to wipe out poliomyelitis
from the earth by 2005. Presently, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan,
Nigeria, Niger and Egypt, are the only six countries that remain
to be declared polio-free.
India is the most populous country among them; so a joint international
effort is being made, involving the Government of India, UNICEF,
WHO, donor countries and agencies, together with state governments
Japan has been supporting the Polio Eradication Campaign in India
since 1996. Although the contribution is modest (3% of the total
activity budget), the cumulative amount up to this year will reach
Rs.254 crore (6.38 billion yen).
As a result of the massive endeavour by the agencies involved, polio
cases dropped dramatically last year. Japan reaffirms its commitment
to support the campaign to achieve zero transmission in India by
the end of 2004.
Utilization of the Grant
Japan’s grant will be used for the purchase of 71 million doses
of oral polio vaccine and 3 million disposable syringes.
The Target area is the north-eastern states as well as Bihar and