DR Congo

Grant aid to UNICEF for the project for infectious diseases prevention for children in DR Congo

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1. The Government of Japan has decided to extend a grant aid of up to 309 million yen to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to contribute to the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Project for Infectious Diseases Prevention. Notes for the extension were exchanged on February 25 (Tue) in Kinshasa between Mr. Seisuke Fukushima, Japanese Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Dr. Mohamed Cisse, Senior Programme Officer Health of UNICEF to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there had been continuous armed conflicts involving neighboring countries for four years from 1998 until last year, when it was settled by the agreement on establishment of a transitional government at the National Dialogue in Pretoria. However, prolonged and deteriorating conditions of law and order, instability of politics, weakened economy and other factors prevented the implementation of nation-wide immunization for infants, and resulted in a higher-than-average infant mortality rate for a developing country.

On account of this situation, Japan provided UNICEF with 274 million yen in FY2000 and 308 million yen in FY2001 to contribute to the Project for the Eradication of Poliomyelitis. The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and UNICEF have formulated the Project for Infectious Diseases Prevention for Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the implementation of National Immunization Days (NID) with polio vaccine and measles vaccine in 2003, and requested grant assistance from the Government of Japan to procure polio and measles vaccines for the project and to monitor the immunization activities.

3. The implementation of this project is expected to dramatically increase the vaccination rate in the country, thus decreasing cases of infectious diseases of children and reducing the infant mortality rate.

4. At the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in July 2000, the Government of Japan, through then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, announced the "Okinawa Infectious Diseases Initiative", in which Japan pledged to provide up to a total of three billion dollars during the following five years through its ODA (Official Development Assistance) for measures against such infectious diseases as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, parasitic diseases and poliomyelitis. This project will be carried out as part of this initiative.