JICA extends $ 1.8 m in emergency assistance to strengthen SL’s COVID-19 response

Monday, 17 May 2021 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka and Japan last week signed an agreement for JICA’s emergency technical cooperation grant named the ‘Project for Strengthening COVID-19 Response’, worth $ 1.8 million. 

Health Ministry Secretary Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office Chief Representative Yamada Tetsuya signed the bilateral agreement. Senior officials from the Ministry of Health and JICA Sri Lanka Office, including Dr. Sunil De Alwis — Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Takashima Kiyofumi — Senior Representative, JICA Sri Lanka Office, also attended the occasion, held at the Ministry of Health, Colombo while strictly adhering to the health guidelines and the COVID-19 preventive measures.

This project primarily focuses on the provision of equipment, which is essential to cope with the COVID-19 treatment during this emergency, such as ventilators, ICU beds, ultrasound scanners, blood gas analysers, etc. 

These equipment and materials are to be provided in selected four hospitals, namely Base Hospital Teldeniya, Base Hospital Warakapola, Base Hospital Walikanda, and Base Hospital Pimbura. In addition, the project will provide equipment for establishing a PCR laboratory in District General Hospital Hambantota to strengthen its infection diagnostic capacities in the Sothern Province, which is currently experiencing many challenges attempting to expedite PCR tests. 

Further, the project provides training seminars to medical staff in these selected hospitals on strengthening nosocomial infection prevention, patient safety, and case management under the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through Japanese experts remotely. The total budget allocation for this project is $ 1.8 million (approximately Rs. 350 million) under Japan’s Official Development Assistance.

JICA believes this project will be able to significantly contribute to the COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, and treatment in Sri Lanka and to mitigate the difficult situation the country is facing now. 

JICA is an incorporated administrative agency in charge of administering Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), is one of the world’s largest bilateral aid agencies supporting the socioeconomic development in developing countries in different regions of the world. Under its new vision of ‘Leading the world with trust’, set out in July 2017, JICA supports the resolution of issues in developing countries through a flexible combination of various types of assistance methods. 

In Sri Lanka, Japan has been providing financial and technical assistance since 1954 and is one of the largest donors to the country. On behalf of the people of Japan, JICA contributes to improving the lives of people in Sri Lanka.