With the support of the Government of Japan, UNICEF has delivered more than 2,400 items to strengthen cold chain and supply systems in the Maldives, to the Ministry of Health. This is part of the support to the ongoing national COVID-19 pandemic response.
The pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of strengthening health system’s response to emergencies while ensuring continued essential health services to children and pregnant women.
Through this initiative, funded by the Government of Japan, UNICEF provided freeze free vaccine carriers, temperature monitoring devices/tool kits, personal protection equipment (PPE) for vaccination staff and related ICT equipment as well as the setting up of a vaccine store. The delivered items, combined with upcoming supplies in the pipeline and additional technical support worth over USD 950,000, will address immediate capacity gaps in the health system needed to continue the COVID-19 response as well as strengthen the national immunization programme.
The Government of Japan has been a firm supporter of the Government and people of the Maldives in its COVID-19 response since the initial outbreak of the virus. The Embassy has worked very closely with the Government authorities and International Organizations to strengthen the capacity to respond to COVID-19 public health emergency and to revitalize its socio-economic activities affected by the pandemic. Since 2020, Japan has committed grants to the Maldives health sector to address the urgent needs by providing emergency supplies and to mitigate the negative economic impacts, namely through:
– USD 5.6 million to the Government of Maldives to equip and improve the health services at atolls and regional hospitals across the Maldives.
– USD 1.4 million to UNDP Maldives in support of small and medium enterprises in agri businesses affected by COVID-19.
– USD 356,400 to UNICEF Maldives and USD 185,000 for the Maldives Red Crescent to complement the Government’s effort to respond to COVID-19 and,
– USD 956,222 to UNICEF Maldives to assist the Government of Maldives to strengthen capacity and continue building a sustainable immunization supply chain system under the “Last One Mile Support” programme.
– USD 2.7 million to UNDP Maldives to further strengthen local productivity of agricultural produce in the Maldives.
In addition to these grants,
– USD 47.5 million was extended to the Government of Maldives as ‘The COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan’ and,
– 112,000 doses of AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine manufactured in Japan was donated to the Maldives through the COVAX facility as part of Japan’s “Last One Mile Support”.
The financial support to strengthen cold chain and supply capacity received from the Government of Japan through UNICEF will have a positive and lasting impact on the health system’s capacity, including the vaccination efforts at the decentralized level.