The Japanese Government has provided a total sum of around $ 1,212,500 (approx. Rs. 230 million) through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for tackling the novel COVID-19 in Sri Lanka.
The UNICEF was provided US$ 500,000 of this total grant to formulate key risk communication messages, facilitate the prevention and control of infections through the provision of essential health and hygiene supplies, refurbishment of isolation units and ensure undisruptive access to both child education and child protection services, the Japanese Embassy in Colombo said in a news release.
The IOM was extended a grant of US$ 422,500 to support the internal and cross-border coordination of migrant and mobile populations and alleviate associated barriers including inadequate access to credible information, eradicate stigma, discrimination, language barriers faced by them, and also render assistance towards the health and border preparedness responses at Ports of Entry.
The IFRC assists in the dissemination of knowledge on health and hygiene to the community, extend psychosocial support to affected populations, frontline volunteers and staff, and supply daily necessities for isolated patients with a grant of US$ 250,000.
The contributions received by IFRC is utilized through the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to complement the implementation of prevention, containment and mitigation actions undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka, the news release said.
It added that the Government of Japan approved the funds through the three international organizations on March 10, as part of an emergency response to the new coronavirus infection control, aiming to strengthen the capacities of developing countries including Sri Lanka in the fields of health and medical care.
“The Government of Japan hopes the assistance will contribute effectively towards the prevention of the new coronavirus infections in Sri Lanka, whilst also remaining firmly committed to work with the Government of Sri Lanka and international organizations on an array of economic and social co-operations including infectious disease control,” the Embassy said.