On June 14th and 16th, Ambassador Kikuta's contribution article was published online and in print of 4 Nepali media.
Below is the online article published by the New Spotlight on June 14th.
The Government Of Japan Supports Nepal To Tackle The COVID-19 Pandemic | New Spotlight Magazine (spotlightnepal.com)
Other articles are available from below:
・Republica (June 14th) Tackling COVID-19 together with the international community - myRepublica - The New York Times Partner, Latest news of Nepal in English, Latest News Articles (nagariknetwork.com)
・The Rising Nepal (June 16th) Japan Stands With Nepal Against Pandemic (risingnepaldaily.com)
・The Himalayan Times (June 16th) COVAX Summit: Tackling COVID-19 together - The Himalayan Times - Nepal's No.1 English Daily Newspaper | Nepal News, Latest Politics, Business, World, Sports, Entertainment, Travel, Life Style News
On June 2nd, 2021, Japan co-hosted the COVAX AMC Summit with Gavi to procure funds to provide vaccines for developing countries. Taking this opportunity, let me sum up Japan’s assistance for the world and Nepal in the fight against this formidable infectious disease. I think it useful for the readers to be presented with Japan’s efforts in a rather comprehensive manner. Japan has been taking a multifaceted approach to this effect, i.e., international fora; bilateral context; vaccines; cold chain; medical equipment; enhancing the health sector (water, nutrition, etc.), and technical assistance for capacity building.
Below is a summary of the contribution which Japan has been extending to the world, as well as to Nepal, in the pandemic. Whatever the difficulties COVID-19 causes, I believe we will be able to overcome the pandemic by tackling it together.
1.COVID-19 Vaccinations for All: with the UN and International Organizations
Responding to the outbreak, the Government of Japan took a leading role to formulate the COVAX Facility in cooperation with Gavi to ensure everyone, including our Nepali friends, can be vaccinated. Japan was the first country that donated a financial contribution to the newly established COVAX Facility. We co-hosted the COVAX AMC Summit on June 2nd, 2021 to call further upon the solidarity and commitment of the international community. It is my pleasure to tell you that the Summit was a great success thanks to the additional pledges from governments and the private sector, achieving far more than the target of $8.3 billion USD. This will enable 1.8 billion vaccine doses for nearly 30 percent of the population in the COVAX Facility AMC-eligible economies. Including Nepal of course. Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Suga announced the additional contribution for the COVAX Facility from Japan, making it 1 billion USD in total, the second biggest commitment from a single country only after the USA.
The vaccine is important, but the cold chain is also vital. It is necessary to deliver vaccines safely to the people who need it. Japan has contributed to UNICEF (41 million USD)for cold-chain facilities to ensure that the vaccine will reach down as “Last One Mile Support,” for all to be vaccinated. We have installed medical equipment for cold-storage facilities to assist the transportation of vaccines for 25 South East and South West Asian and Pacific Island countries, including Nepal. We hope it becomes available in Nepal by August 2021. It is our wish that the facility will be used effectively for the rapid progress of the immunization process all over the country.
In addition, as the Prime Minister stated at the COVAX AMC Summit, Japan also places importance on support for health security in a wide range of areas including nutrition, water, and sanitation to achieve Universal Health Coverage. In this context, Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 this coming December to raise awareness for better nutrition for all. Japan is determined to continue to lead international efforts in the health sector, with an emphasis on multilateralism, by leading the world to “build back better.”