Japan's International Cooperation on Pandemic Influenza (since the end of 2005)
Japan's international cooperation on avian and pandemic influenza has so far reached approximately 416 million US dollars since the end of 2005, including disbursements posted for the FY2010 budget, which is the second largest amount among donor countries after the United States.
Pandemic influenza is a global issue that has impacts across nations and beyond borders. It is also an issue of national crisis management that is directly linked to Japan's national security, as well as an overarching issue that impacts animal and human health. Moreover, the response to emerging infectious diseases and zoonotic diseases such as pandemic influenza and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) requires the strengthened multisectoral efforts globally.
Japan has been making concerted and nationwide efforts, bringing together related government ministries and agencies, in order to actively collaborate in the efforts of the international community, especially in the Asian region in addressing these issues.
1. Stockpiling 1.5 million courses of anti-viral medicine in the Asian region
(1) Through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the Government of Japan provided 500,000 courses of anti-viral medicine for ASEAN countries to be stockpiled in Singapore, and also distributed another total of 500,000 courses of the medicine to each of the ASEAN member states. It also provided 700,000 sets of personal protective equipments to be stockpiled (including 350,000 sets distributed to ASEAN member states).
(2) As one of the cooperation projects of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), through its financial contributions to the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Japan provided 500,000 courses of anti-viral medicine and 500,000 sets of personal protective equipments to be stockpiled in Singapore.
Both of the above provisions, under the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), were designed to be used for the rapid response in the event of an outbreak of virulent pandemic influenza in the Asian region. The Government of Japan has also been conducting simulation exercises and seminars related to this initiative.
2. Cooperation through the World Health Organization (WHO)
(1) Support for measures against influenza A (H1N1)
In September 2009 the Government of Japan decided to provide an emergency grant aid amounting 10.8 million US dollars (approximately 1.1 billion yen) through the WHO to help extend influenza A (H1N1) vaccinations in developing countries.
(2) Strengthening the capacity to tackle avian and pandemic influenza in high-risk countries in Asia
In FY2006, the Government of Japan contributed approximately 18 million US dollars to the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office to enhance pandemic influenza preparedness in eight countries in Asia (Mongolia, China, Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea). Japan has also been supporting the enhancement of international responses through voluntary contributions to the WHO.
(3) Organizing the Japan-WHO Joint Meeting on Early Response to Potential Influenza Pandemic
In January 2006, the Government of Japan and the WHO co-hosted the Joint Meeting on Early Response to Potential Influenza Pandemic. The meeting gathered specialists from Asian countries, key donor countries and international organizations, and confirmed the importance of rapid containment of pandemic influenza.
3.Cooperation through the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Through its contributions to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Japan has been cooperating in the "Trust Fund Programme for Strengthening Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Control in Asia" and "The prevention and control of major animal infectious diseases to improve diagnostic capacity of veterinary services in Asia and the Pacific" to strengthen surveillance and diagnostic capacity for identifying the transmission routes of the disease in the Asian region, to improve capacity in the field of veterinary service, and enhance diagnostic capacity for major animal infectious diseases.
Also, through its contribution to the OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Government of Japan has been contributing to the efforts for the prevention and control of transboundary diseases in the Asia-Pacific region, through the "Comprehensive Support Programme on Food Safety and Animal and Plant Inspection Service in Asia."
4. Supporting prevention and awareness-raising efforts through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other humanitarian organizations
(1) The Government of Japan contributed a total of 62.1 million US dollars to UNICEF in FY2005 and FY2006 to support awareness-raising at community level in 37 countries across Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and other regions, and enhancement of vaccination logistics in 17 countries. This campaign had brought a significant impact in preventing the transmission of virus from birds to humans in countries where avian influenza outbreaks have occurred, and has been highly appreciated by the international community.
(2) The Government of Japan also contributed through the following organizations:
- The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR); for measures in refugee camps (5 million US dollars)
- The International Organization for Migration (IOM); for measures targeting immigrants (1 million US dollars)
- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP); for school- and community-based prevention and awareness-raising activities, etc. (1.1 million US dollars)
- The Assistance through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); for developing pandemic contingency plans (1 million US dollars)
5. Research and development through Japan Initiative for Global Research Network on Infectious Diseases (J-GRID)
For a period of five years starting from FY2005, under Program of Founding Research Centers for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases implemented by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan has been working to establish overseas research centers on infectious diseases including influenza, by extending cooperation between Japanese universities/research institutes and overseas counterpart organizations in eight countries across Asia and Africa (China, Viet Nam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Zambia and Ghana). The effort is being carried on from FY2010 as Japan Initiative for Global Research Network on Infectious Diseases (J-GRID).
6. Bilateral cooperation; technical cooperation through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
(1) Assistance to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) in Viet Nam
Through its grant aid in FY2006 to the Project for Improvement of Safety Laboratory for National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (up to 891 million yen), the Government of Japan assisted the said institution in constructing a laboratory with Biosafety Level 3, which enables handling avian influenza. Additionally, technical cooperation by such means as dispatching experts has been provided by JICA. Japan has also established a joint research center in NIHE under Japan Initiative for Global Research Network on Infectious Diseases (J-GRID) (see 5. above).
(2) Assistance to the National Livestock Disease Investigation Center (DIC) of Indonesia
Through its grant aid in FY2007 to the Project for Improvement of Animal Health Laboratories for Diagnosis of Avian Influenza and Other Major Diseases of Animals (up to 1.781 billion yen), the Government of Japan supported the improvement of diagnostic capacity for avian influenza at three laboratories of the National Livestock Disease Investigation Center (DIC) of Indonesia.
(3) Acceptance of trainees
Every year Japan undertakes training in Japan for around 100 trainees in related fields through JICA programs for relevant areas such as prevention and control of avian influenza in Asia, and response to the biohazards of emerging infectious diseases in Asia.
(4) Project for Strengthening the Surveillance System for Avian Influenza in Indonesia
Technical cooperation is being provided for strengthening surveillance capacity to monitor human transmission of avian influenza in South Sulawesi.
(5) Emergency aid in response to the influenza A (H1N1) outbreak in Mexico
In May 2009, the Government of Japan extended the equivalent of 21 million yen of emergency relief supplies and 76.5 million yen of emergency grant aid (provision of 25 infrared thermographies).
7. Assistance through the World Bank and other multilateral development banks
(1) From the end of FY2005 through FY2006, the Government of Japan extended 19.5 million US dollars through the Japan Policy and Human Resource Development Fund (PHRD), a trust fund established at the World Bank. The funds were used for a variety of programs related to avian influenza in Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Georgia, Armenia, Albania, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Viet Nam.
(2) In 2006, the Government of Japan extended 10 million US dollars through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Japan Special Fund, and has supported capacity building against disease in the Asian region, while working together with the WHO and FAO.
(3) In 2009, the Government of Japan extended 2 million US dollars through the Japanese Trust Fund at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to support measures against influenza A (H1N1). It has supported the enhancement of measures against H1N1 outbreaks in Central and South America in cooperation with the Pan-American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO). Following up on the Fourth Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) hosted by Japan in January 2010, JICA and the IDB co-hosted a seminar in Tokyo to share experiences in response to emerging infectious diseases and pandemics in March 2010.
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