Press Release No.4
NEW DELHI: 26 March 2012
Government of Japan extends grant for Polio Eradication Project in India
Grant to UNICEF
The Government of Japan agreed to extend to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) a grant aid assistance of 120 million yen (approximately equivalent to Rs. 7.2 crore) for Maintaining a Polio free India project to eradicate poliomyelitis from India. Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between H.E. Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Ambassador of Japan to India, and Ms. Karin Hulshof, Representative of UNICEF India country office, today.
Until recently, India was one of the remaining four Polio Endemic countries (Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan) where the Wild Polio Virus (WPVs) still exist as great risks for countries’ young population. Having tremendous international/national efforts with UNICEF, WHO, partner agencies, donor countries and state governments, the Government of India successfully led India Polio free for more than one year. India has been taken out from the list of Polio Endemic counties in February 2012; according to India Expert Advisory Group on Polio Eradication, greater vigilance is required to maintain polio-free India as there are several risks of this epidemic reviving back.
The Government of Japan hopes that the Grant would contribute to further strengthening of the relationship between Japan and India.
Japan has been supporting the polio eradication project in India since 1996. The cumulative amount of grant assistance up to this year will reach 8.3 billion yen.
Utilization of the Grant
Japan’s grant will be used mostly for the purchase of oral polio vaccine for West Bengal state.
Accomplishment of the aid
The continuous support from the Government of Japan to India through UNICEF has supported to prevent the expansion of WPV in India. In January 2012, India completed a year without any polio case.