Japan: Exchange of Notes for Grant Aid for the Republic of Burundi through UNICEF

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Exchange of Notes for Grant Aid for the Republic of Burundi (The Project for Infectious Diseases Prevention for Children) through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Government of Japan has decided to extend grant aid (The Project for Infectious Diseases Prevention for Children) totaling 124 million JPY to the Republic of Burundi. Notes to this effect were exchanged on January 18 (Mon) (local time: same day) in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi, between Mr. Shigeo Iwatani, Japanese Ambassador to Burundi, and Ms. Gloria Kodzwa, UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Burundi.

Burundi is in a period of reconstruction after the civil war over a decade that began in 1993. However, basic living environment remains to be improved, especially in the field of health care. Hygiene knowledge shows serious deficiencies, while the state of health care, water, and hygiene is in a dire condition. The mortality rate of children under the age of five years old is 168/1,000 people (2008) ? one of the worst mortality rates in Africa.

In light of the situation in Burundi, this aid will provide major vaccinations (polio, BCG, measles), medication for acute respiratory illness (pneumonia) and newborns with infectious diseases, medical treatment for diarrhea, etc. to carry out comprehensive, community-based control and treatment of childhood illness in the four provinces of Muyinga, Cankuzo, Kayanza, and Gitega. It will also provide the necessary funds to carry out the improvement of malnutrition, essential health care training, and hygiene knowledge distribution. Through this aid, it is expected that the health and nutrition of children under the age of five years old in the four provinces (approximately 418,000 children) will improve, leading to a reduction in the disease rate and mortality rate.

This grant aid is a part of Japan’s commitment to Africa announced at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) held in May 2008 to strengthen cooperation towards efforts in the field of health care within African countries.

(Reference) The Republic of Burundi is located in central Africa, covers a land area of approximately 27,800 square kilometers, has a population of approximately 8.07 million people (World Bank, 2008), and a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of approximately 140 USD (World Bank, 2008).

Source: Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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