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Japan provides Bhutan US$21 million for new infectious disease center

Japan signed a grant agreement with Bhutan for up to ¥3 billion (US$21 million) to support the Project for the Construction of Royal Centre for Infectious Diseases.

The project aims to increase capacities for proper diagnosis and treatment of serious infectious diseases, disease prevention, and development of crisis response. The funds will be used to build a state-of-the-art Royal Centre for Infectious Diseases (RCID) and provide necessary medical equipment. It is hoped that the project will strengthen Bhutan’s ability to respond to future outbreaks of infectious disease. The project is in line with Sustainable Development Goal three (good health and well-being) and is expected to be completed by 2027.

Press release – Japan International Cooperation Agency

Japan establishes Global Health Strategy Division

On September 26, 2022, Japan established a new office within the International Cooperation Bureau known as the Global Health Strategy Division.

The new division will be responsible for planning, drafting, and coordinating policy and initiatives relating to international health issues. The Global Health Strategy Division indicates Japan's ambitions to collaboratively strengthen the global health architecture, improve the global response to health emergencies, and achieve universal health coverage with public, private, academic, and civil society stakeholders.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Japan’s Kishida delivers remarks at UNGA calling for greater human security

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 20, 2022, and called for increased support for human security.

During his remarks, Kishida reiterated Japan's commitment to collaborative problem-solving with the UN and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS). The prime minister also mentioned Japan's US$30 billion investment in Africa with an emphasis on human resource development and capacity building at TICAD 8 (the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development) in August 2022, and expressed Japan's commitment to supporting education efforts based on the results of the UN Transforming Education Summit, which was held from September 16 -19, 2022.

Kishida also reinforced Japan’s commitment to global health, highlighting the country's US$5 billion in support for global COVID-19 response. He further reiterated that Japan will take lead in strengthening global health architecture and achieving universal health coverage as the G7 Summit lead in 2023.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Japan provides US$10 million for vaccine data management systems in 7 African countries

On September 16, 2022, Japan signed a letter pledging ¥1.4 billion (US$10 million) to the Digital Health Systems Support Program to Combat Infectious Diseases in Africa UNICEF Partnership.

In the past year, reflections on the challenges faced at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Africa have emphasized the necessity of vaccination status follow-up and the implementation of a system that can manage vaccine-related data.

As a result of the new pledge, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will provide an immunization management system to respond to public health threats in seven African countries; Tunisia, Uganda, Congo, DRC, Benin, Malawi, and South Sudan. It is expected that the plan will contribute to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the revitalization of socioeconomic activities.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Canadian CSOs urge government to contribute US$904 million to Global Fund replenishment

After months of advocacy, a coalition of 14 civil society organizations (CSOs) is calling on Canada to pledge CA$1.2 billion (US$904 million) at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's (Global Fund) replenishment conference in New York City during the week of September 19, 2022. 

Since May 2022, the coalition has called on the federal government to contribute more to support the Global Fund. As the Global Fund now seeks to recover from setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund released its investment case calling on donors to collectively contribute US$18 billion - the minimum investment needed to save an estimated 20 million more lives. Among G7 nations, the US, Germany, and Japan have announced their support, committing to increase their pledges by 30% from the previous funding cycle. However, the Canadian government has not announced further support, drawing criticism from several CSOs.

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

ADB and Japan provide US$203 million in assistance for Sri Lanka

On September 9, 2022, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) authorized a US$200 million emergency assistance loan alongside a US$3 million grant from the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (JFPR).

The funds will be used to secure food for the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children.

The ongoing economic instability in Sri Lanka has had a serious impact on food security. The loan will not only help vulnerable populations but will also support farmers to promote agricultural production. The ADB will also address immediate needs by providing emergency medical supplies, materials for water treatment, and working capital for small and medium-sized businesses. The funds will also be used to provide pregnant and lactating women with cash transfers. The donation from JFPR will be used to provide basic needs for women and children, as well as to promote technologies for precision agriculture.

Press release – Asian Development Bank

Japan provides US$6 million of food security package to Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Palestine

On September 8 - 9, 2022, the Japanese government contributed an additional US$6 million to Guinea-Bissau, Niger, and Palestine as part of its US$200 million pledge in response to global food insecurity.

The package included two donations of US$1 million through the World Food Programme (WFP) to Guinea-Bissau and Palestine, and a US$3 million bilateral grant to improve food security in Niger. Each country is facing serious food crises that have been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese) 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese) 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Japan provides US$21 million to Mozambique for maternal, child health

Japan will provide Mozambique with a ¥3 billion (US$21 million) grant to support the construction of a neonatal unit in Maputo Central Hospital.

The Government of Mozambique launched its Health Sector Strategic Plan 2022-2026 and has been expanding services with a focus on maternal and neonatal health. However, current maternal mortality and neonatal mortality rates in Mozambique are relatively high when compared to other countries in the region.

The project aims to enhance pediatric medical services and continue to improve maternal and child health services. It is a part of Japan's commitment to supporting Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which was announced at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) in Tunisia earlier in 2022.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Japan signs agreement with ADB to bolster regional food security

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on September 6, 2022, aiming to strengthen sustainable and resilient agri-food systems in the Asia Pacific region.

The food system in the Asia Pacific region has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these complications have been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The partnership between Japan and the ADB intends to shore up efforts to ensure sustainable, resilient food systems to guarantee food security in the region. Accordingly, the ADB will work with Japan to strengthen climate-smart agriculture and food security by engaging with stakeholders at each stage of the food supply chain.  

Press release – Asian Development Bank

Japan contributes US$20 million to food security efforts

The Japanese government announced contributions totalling US$20 million to bolster food security in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, the Philippines, and Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip during the week of August 29, 2022.

The package included:

  • US$2 million through the World Food Programme (WFP) to Sri Lanka;
  • US$5 million through WFP for life-saving food assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan;
  • US$6 million through WFP for food rations for people in urgent need of food assistance in Syria;
  • US$6 million through WFP for farmers and fisherfolk in the Philippines; and
  • US$2 million through United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for essential in-kind food assistance to over one million Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip.

The donations are part of Japan’s July 2022 commitment to providing US$200 million for improving food security in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent food shortages.

Press release – World Food Programme 

Press release – World Food Programme

Press release – World Food Programme

Press release – World Food Programme  

Press release – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Japan announces US$30 billion in African investments over three years at TICAD8

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke at the opening session of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) and announced Japan’s commitment to providing US$30 billion in financial contributions throughout Africa over the next three years.

TICAD8 took place in Tunisia from August 27-28, 2022. 

Japan has contributed US$20 billion to the continent over the past three years and will increase its contributions moving forward with a focus on investing in people and quality growth. The government has outlined five focus areas including: 

  • Launching “Japan’s Green Growth Initiative with Africa,” a US$4 billion initiative to address climate change;
  • Promoting investment in start-up companies with young, energetic people;
  • Co-financing initiatives with the African Development Bank up to US$5 billion to improve the lives of the most vulnerable;
  • Contributing up to US$1 billion to the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment to support measures against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria; 
  • Promoting human resource development; and
  • Suporting regional stabilization.

Kishida also addressed the ongoing food crisis and stated that Japan would make a US$300 million contribution to co-finance food production initiatives with the African Development Bank.

Press release – Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet

Japanese companies call on government to step up health ODA ahead of TICAD8

On August 25, 2022, 11 Japanese companies spoke at Global Health Action Japan in preparation for the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) which was held in Tunisia later that week.

Japanese companies specializing in pharmaceuticals, hygiene products, laboratory equipment, and the elimination of health inequalities in Africa and other parts of the world presented products and initiatives highlighting their contributions to global health. In addition, the companies called on the Japanese government to increase health-related ODA contributions and strengthen public-private partnerships in procurement and human resource development.

Four initiatives under consideration by the Business Leaders’ Coalition for Global Health include:

  • Emphasizing the private sector’s influence in international healthcare to the Japanese government;
  • Creating a scheme or entity to coordinate and strengthen collaboration with international organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund);
  • Communicating information about Japanese advancements in global health domestically and abroad; and
  • Implementing “impact weighted accounting” strategies to promote the nonfinancial, social impacts of products and firms.

The event signals Japanese companies' increased activity in global health efforts. Earlier this year, Japanese business leaders called on the government to double health-related ODA by 2025 and work closely with businesses to achieve global health targets.

Press release – The Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese)

African Japan Forum calls on Japan to maximize health ODA, improve community-level solutions

A survey conducted by the Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS and Health Service Organisations (EANNASO) and the ELSA Platform, a French NGO umbrella organization targeting AIDS in Africa, found that Japanese development assistance does not sufficiently reach the community level. Based on the results of the survey, the African Japan Forum released a series of recommendations for the Japanese government.

The survey was conducted over one month and surveyors received 105 responses from 31 countries in Africa. The survey aimed to understand the nature of Japanese ODA for health and focused strongly on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The results of the survey suggested that Japanese development funding is not reaching the community level and that local NGOs were less aware of and involved in project planning and implementation. Many African NGOs expressed an interest in regular dialogue and collaboration opportunities with Japanese organizations.

The African Japan Forum called on Japan to galvanize international partners and establish funding channels for African CSOs. It also suggested that Japan should funnel a larger portion of bilateral assistance to support community-level health efforts.

The survey results were released in advance of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) where global health was the focus of discussions.

Press release – African Japan Forum 

News article – The Asahi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese)

Japan continues food assistance funding with US$11 million

Japan is continuing to fund food assistance, as it promised at the G7 leader's summit in June 2022, with an additional ¥1.5 billion (US$11 million) contribution; the additional funding was divided between five countries:

  • ¥400 million (US$3 million) to South Sudan through the World Food Programme (WFP);
  • ¥350 million (US$3 million) to Togo;
  • ¥300 million (US$2 million) to Mozambique through the WFP;
  • ¥250 million (US$2 million) to Lesotho through the WFP; and
  • ¥200 million (US$2 million) to Sierra Leone through the WFP.

Earlier this year, Japan committed to providing US$200 million to countries affected by the ongoing food crisis that has been exasperated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Funds will be used to strengthen food security and assist with the response to concurrent issues.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

JCIE launches Global Health Task Force ahead of 2023 G7 Summit

The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) recently launched the Hiroshima G7 Global Health Task Force in preparation for the G7 Summit, which will be hosted in Hiroshima in May 2023. 

The task force was launched by JCIE’s Executive Committee on Global Health and Human Security and will be responsible for presenting recommendations to the Japanese government on global health. It will also organize discussions with participants from various backgrounds, including those from non-G7 countries.

The task force will explore three specific topics including:

  • '100 Days Mission and Access & Delivery (100 Days Mission PLUS);'
  • 'Resilient, Equitable, and Sustainable universal health coverage (UHC);' and
  • 'Global Health Architecture Development.'

Press release – Japan Center for International Exchange

Japan donates US$105 million for infectious waste management in Southwest Asia

Japan issued a ¥1.4 billion (US$105 million) grant to improve infectious waste management in Southwest Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In recent years, medical waste, including syringes and personal protective equipment, has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic; many countries have been unable to dispose of waste properly. This grant will help facilitate a plan to improve infectious waste disposal in the three countries and enhance medical care at the same time. It is part of a three-pillar Japanese plan, announced in May 2022 at the G7 Summit, which includes vaccine data management, border management, and infectious waste disposal. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Japan signs US$14 million grant agreement with Afghanistan for agricultural productivity

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a ¥1.9 billion (US$14 million) grant agreement with Afghanistan to support agricultural productivity and the improvement of farmers’ livelihoods. The grant is part of the 'Project for the Enhancement of Food Production Capacity in Afghanistan.'

The 2021 drought led to severe food shortages in Afghanistan and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has exasperated the food crisis. About half of all farmers in the country are facing a decrease in harvestable crops and three million farm animals could also be lost.

The project aims will carry out initiatives in 11 provinces in Afghanistan including:

  • Rehabilitation of 326 small-scale irrigation facilities;
  • Distribution of seed packages to 18,000 agriculture farmers;
  • Distribution of livestock-protection packages including feed and vaccinations to 10,000 livestock farmers;
  • Provision of home-gardening kits to 20,500 households; and
  • Training related to the above activities.

Press release – JICA

Japan donates US$7 million for food security ahead of TICAD8

In light of the food crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Japan has donated ¥900 million (US$7 million) to four countries to support food security:

  • ¥300 million (US$2 million) to Liberia;
  • ¥200 million (US$2 million) to Libya through the World Food Programme (WFP);
  • ¥200 million (US$2 million) to Sao Tome and Principe; and
  • ¥200 million (US$2 million) to Eswatini through the WFP. 

The donations will be used to strengthen food security and are part of a larger effort by Japan to support the global community during the food crisis. Specifically, these four grants come in advance of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), which will be held in Tunisia from August 27 - 28, 2022.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

Japan contributes US$100 million to WFP

The Japanese government disbursed US$100 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to fight hunger and malnutrition in light of the recent global food crisis. The contribution is part of Japan’s US$200 million pledge made at the G7 Summit in Germany in June 2022.

The funding will be disbursed through multiple channels:

  • US$10 million for food and nutrition assistance in Afghanistan;
  • US$7 million for emergency food assistance in Ethiopia;
  • US$6 million for emergency food assistance in Syria;
  • US$6 million for emergency food assistance in South Sudan; and
  • US$68 million to support the response to the food crisis in 30 countries.

Press release – World Food Programme

South Korea continues to support global COVID-19 response with US$30 million to new World Bank FIF

Park Jin, the South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended a virtual ministerial meeting for COVID-19, entitled 'Pandemic Prioritized Global Action Plan for Enhanced Engagement' to discuss global cooperation on COVID-19 response.

Minister Park shared South Korea’s plan to contribute to the global health cooperation system. For example, South Korea will contribute US$30 million to the World Bank's new Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) - a new financing mechanism to better prepare and respond to future pandemics. In addition to its ongoing contribution to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), South Korea will continue to contribute to the global health system.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

News article – Yonhapnews (in Korean)