ISLAMABAD: Angela Kearney, the UNICEF Representative in Pakistan has said that the government of Japan has approved $ 2.98 million grant aid for polio eradication programme in Pakistan.

This grant enables the government of Pakistan through UNICEF to procure 16 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to conduct ten rounds of door-to-door immunizations that are carried out in specific focal areas where the virus is known or suspected to still be circulating. She stated this while talking a group of media persons at the residence of Counsellor Public Affairs Embassy of Japan Mr. Toshikazu Isomura on Wednesday.

She said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are only countries in the world, where Polio virus existed. She said that 306 polio cases in 2014, 54 in 2015 and were registered in Pakistan.

However, she lauded the efforts and initiative taken by the government of Pakistan. She said that UNICEF with the support of Japan, WHO, other partners and government of Pakistan are trying to eradicate polio disease from the country. She further described that from 1996 to 2015 the contribution to Pakistan Polio eradication initiative from Japan is accumulated to $ 153.5 million.

Responding a question, UNICEF Representative said that her organisation is supporting Pakistani relative departments for proper storage of vaccinations of Polio and also providing technical support to Pakistan. Together with the government of Pakistan getting support of religious leaders for the counter propaganda against Polio campaigns’ she added.

On the occasion Jalpa Ratna also from UNICEF said that IDP’s from FATA vaccinated in camps and host areas. She said that UNICEF have the robust monitoring the process of Polo vaccination through independent monitors.

Cesar Guedes, Representative of United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that around $ 250 billions illicit drug trafficking in the world. Afghanistan is the main hub of drug smuggling and through different roots it goes to Gulf, Africa, Europe and other areas’ Guedes added.

Drug traffickers using Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian routes for smuggling and Pak-Afghan borders is porous 2200 Kilometres long, which is very difficult to monitor, despite of that Pakistan is largest in drug interception’ he said.

He said that through  $ 6.5 million for the strengthening capacity of Anti Narcotics Force (ANF). Priority areas include those Polio cases have been found over the previous three years and where access to health care is difficult.