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Japan extends $1.6m grant towards Uganda COVID-19 response

Uganda has received $1.6m (about Shs 5.8 billion) grant from Japan to boost the country's COVID-19 response efforts.

The grant is supposed to help Uganda procure cold chain equipment for the storage and transportation of COVID-19 vaccines in the country. The funds will be channeled through the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef).

According to the joint press statement, the funds will be used to procure 106 solar vaccine refrigerators, 190 cold boxes and 2,200 vaccine carriers. The money will also be used to procure 10 generators.

Uganda is one of 31 countries in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean that have benefitted from a $39 million emergency aid extended to countries suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Safieldin Munir, the Unicef representative in Uganda says the funds will be used to address some of the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant consequences not only in Uganda but the world over. The children have not been spared either. Unicef is supporting the government of Uganda and working with different partners to make every effort to protect children, including through our efforts to build more resilient communities,” Munir said.

Japan’s emergency aid grant this time around aims to deliver vaccines to every person in all corners of developing countries, which will complement the efforts of the COVAX Facility.

The Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Hidemoto Fukuzawa says the grant will be used to ensure equitable access to vaccines even in hard-to-reach areas.

"Currently, ensuring equitable access globally including in developing countries and accelerating vaccination is the common challenge for the international community towards the goal of containing COVID-19. Japan has been contributing to formulating the COVAX Facility, an international mechanism for the procurement of vaccines, and has already made a financial contribution of US$200 million,” he said.

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