Japan provides USD 3 m to strengthen SL Cold Chain System | Daily News

Japan provides USD 3 m to strengthen SL Cold Chain System

The Government of Japan has provided nearly USD 3 million through UNICEF to support the cold chain system in Sri Lanka and strengthen delivery of immunization services, including in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lanka is rolling out vaccinations now against the pandemic for prioritised groups, including the elderly population above 60 years in high-risk areas.

“As a long-standing friend of Sri Lanka, it is our great honour to provide emergency grant assistance through UNICEF in our joint combat against COVID-19. We believe that the procurement of cold chain equipment and relevant technical assistance will ensure equitable access and swift rollout of vaccination across the country,” Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Sugiyama Akira said,.

This timely contribution from Japan will be used for the procurement of cold chain equipment, including walk-in cold rooms, ice lined refrigerators and vaccine carriers. The grant will also support the operation and maintenance of the cold chain equipment, effective vaccine management and expansion of temperature monitoring system to all districts.

“Contributions like this from the Government of Japan are crucial in our joint efforts with the Health Ministry to support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccination services and strengthen Sri Lanka’s health system”, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Emma Brigham said.

Through the COVAX Facility, in March, UNICEF brought in the first batch of 264,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccines, which are being rolled out in line with the National Vaccine Deployment Plan of the Health Ministry.

This support from the Government of Japan comes as a boost to Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the overall immunization system, including toreceive, store and roll-out the COVID-19 vaccination programme.