Japan donates $21 million for child health care and sanitation in Afghanistan

Japan has donated a total of $21 million to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for child health care services and provision of safe drinking water and sanitation in public schools across Afghanistan.

“With this funding, UNICEF will provide vaccines for 18.3 million mothers and children across Afghanistan, and clean water for 30,000 people in four provinces,” the UN agency said.

The $18 million, the statemen detailed, will enable the UN agency to provide vaccines for measles, rotavirus, tetanus and diphtheria, polio, hepatitis B and other diseases. The funds will also help UNICEF to reach around 10 million children with oral polio vaccinations in 2023.

“The Government of Japan has donated to UNICEF US$ 18 million in support of essential vaccines for over 18 million mothers and children, and US$3.6 million for water and sanitation facilities in public schools,” the UNICEF said in a statement released on Sunday.

According to the UN agency, $3.6 million will be used for provision of clean water and sanitation services to 10,000 school children, 50 percent of whom are girls, and to provide hygiene education for teachers and community members on preventing diseases to spread.

Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Afghanistan Deputy Representative, was quoted as appreciating that “Japan’s longstanding support of children and mothers in Afghanistan is exemplary”

He added that the ongoing humanitarian crisis coupled with a harsh winter meant that children and mothers were at risk of being infected with communicable diseases in Afghanistan.

The UNICEF detailed that this funding will be used for supporting water and sanitation activities in Ghor, Uruzgan, Zabul and Paktika provinces.

Japan remains one of top humanitarian donors in Afghanistan after the country fell to the Taliban in August 2021.

Last time, it donated $30.6 million to UNICEF’s child support programs in Afghanistan and Myanmar in earlier this month.