Japan grants $9.5m to support govt’s efforts in confronting Covid-19

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Zubair Qureshi

Japan has extended a grant assistance of JPY 1 billion (USD 9.5 million) to Pakistan for enhancing the country’s capacity to confront Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between Ambassador of Japan Matsuda Kuninori and Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Noor Ahmad on Tuesday.
Under this fresh grant programme, more than 30 types of medical equipment including the Bedside X-ray Machine will be provided to medical institutions in Pakistan through the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
NDMA has taken effective measures against national-level disasters such as floods, earthquakes, Covid-19 and locust invasion since its establishment in 2007. The Embassy of Japan and NDMA have been working together since the Covid-19 outbreak in Pakistan with due consideration to the need of front-line medical institutions.
In the signing ceremony, Ambassador Matsuda stated, “Our assistance will not only improve the capacity of controlling Covid-19 but will prepare for the risk in the future.
The Government of Japan has expressed its strong commitment to this assistance, recognizing the necessity to go hand in hand on a global scale to confront the unknown viruses such as COVID-19.”
As for Covid-19, Japan delivered diagnostic kits in the beginning of February, three weeks before the first case was reported in Pakistan.
Then Japan provided a total of US$ 7.41 million to Pakistan through international organizations. With this support to the NDMA, Japan’s support to Pakistan for controlling Covid-19 will reach US$ 16.91 million in total.