Italy donates $5m to help eradicate polio in Afghanistan

Kabul   –    The Italian government donated 5 million dollars (4.3 million euros) to the UNICEF and WHO to help eradicate polio in Afghanistan, a UNICEF statement said on Tuesday.

“Of this amount, 2.9 million dollars (2.5 million euros) will go to UNICEF and WHO, which are both working in the framework of the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio (NEAP) aimed at interrupting the disease transmission in Afghanistan”.

The statement also noted that the remaining 2.1 million dollars (1.8 million euros) have been granted to UNICEF to improve the coverage and quality of nutrition services for children under five, adolescent girls and mothers in the most deprived provinces.

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“Improving the nutritional status of children in Afghanistan is a priority,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan quoted in the statement.

“When children don’t get the nutrients they need at a young age, they are not able to reach their full potential and Afghanistan misses out on one of its most valuable resources — its children.

“Polio remains endemic in only three countries in the world — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Around 10 million children under the age of five receive vaccinations multiple times every year, in all areas of the country, UNICEF said.

There has been immense progress in eradicating polio in Afghanistan and the country is closer to stopping transmission than ever before, the statement said.

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