Thursday 1 April 2021
The Government of Japan has announced a USD 2.7 million contribution to UNICEF to support children and communities in Papua New Guinea with improved access to clean water and hygiene practices as part of the ongoing COVID-19 response.
Up to 7,500 primary school children in Central Province and 5,000 patients in Autonomous Region of Bougainville will benefit from improved water, sanitation and hygiene services in schools and healthcare facilities respectively. Approximately 80,000 people will improve hygiene practices as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The project will also include capacity building for women to generate their own income through the production and selling of improved ceramic water filters.
“UNICEF is very grateful for this generous support that will go a long way in empowering children and families to protect themselves from the scourge of COVID-19,” said UNICEF Representative, Dr Claudes Kamenga. “This support will help prevent diseases caused by unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene that pose some of the greatest threats to the health and well-being of people including children.”
Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency Mr Kuniyuki Nakahara stated that “The Embassy of Japan has supported the improvement of children’s education and school environment by upgrading not only the school buildings but also sanitary facilities such as school toilets and water tanks through the grassroots grant project.
The Embassy of Japan anticipates that more detailed and effective support will be provided in collaboration with UNICEF, which has a wealth of contextual knowledge and experience to meet the needs on the ground.”
The funding contribution will also support a national media awareness campaign that will target up to five million people with life-saving information on prevention and protection from COVID-19, through a radio and TV campaign.
In 2020, UNICEF, through assistance provided by the Government of Japan, installed water facilities in 49 schools in Port Moresby and two health centres in Goroka. The effort also entailed sensitizing the students and patients along with 468 teachers and 60 health workers on COVID-19 prevention and hygiene practices.
The Government of Japan is an active supporter of the Papua New Guinea Government and continues to extend its cooperation in grant aid, technical cooperation and Official Development Assistance that focus on helping to strengthen the foundation of economic growth, improve social services, the environment and climate change.