Islamabad June 08, 2016 - Government of Pakistan highly values the financial support from people and government of Japan to procure much needed polio vaccine and hope that this contribution will go a long way in eliminating the circulation of virus in Pakistan, said Prime Minister's focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza.

Senator made these remarks while welcoming Japan's Ambassador to Pakistan, H.E. Takashi Kurai at National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) on Wednesday. The Ambassador was briefed about the progress made in polio program by the Senator and National Coordinator of NEOC, Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar. The visiting dignitary was also taken to the polio control room for a briefing on live data collection of the campaigns.

H.E. Takashi Kurai was also given a briefing on polio procurement and its cold-chain management besides taking him through cold storage specially build for polio vaccine.

Government of Japan had earlier extended a soft loan of 6.29 billion Yen (approximately USD 59 million) to the Government of Pakistan for polio eradication in Pakistan. The notes were signed and exchanged between Mr. Takashi Kurai, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Mrs. Anjum Assad Amin, Additional Secretary for Economic Affairs Division, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. H.E. Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Statistics and Privatization witnessed the signing ceremony.

This loan will be utilized to procure 273 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccines for polio eradication campaign. The Government of Japan has focused on polio eradication, which is indeed a global challenge for public health. Since 1996, for over 20 years, Japan has supported polio eradication campaign in Pakistan by way of procurement of polio vaccine, strengthening the logistics for delivery through cold chain system, improvement in the treatment of vaccinators, dispatching Japanese medical experts, and so on. Thereby Japan's assistance including this Yen loan reaches approximately 22.6 billion Japanese Yen (approximately USD 212.5 million) in total.