Joint Press Release between the Government of Japan and UNFPA in South Sudan


Juba, South Sudan, 4 February 2016 – The Government of Japan, based on its commitment to support the people of South Sudan and through partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), delivered three ambulances to health facilities in three conflict-affected locations where there are 250,000 women of reproductive age in need of obstetric services.

The ambulances were handed over by the Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, H.E. Kiya Masahiko, to the National Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Riek Kok Gai, in the presence of UNFPA Country Representative a.i. Mr. Ibrahim Sambuli. The ambulances are part of the USD 3.22 million that the Government of Japan disbursed in FY 2015 for the year-long UNFPA project, “Strengthening Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care in Crisis affected areas of South Sudan.” This project has brought to South Sudan 5 ambulances, assorted maternal health and gender-based violence response equipment and supplies.

“The people of Japan care about the health of mothers who bring new life to South Sudan that has been devastated by long years of conflicts,” says H.E. Kiya Masahiko, Ambassador of Japan. He goes on to say, “We believe that the challenge of building a new nation starts with caring for the life of new-born babies and of their families. In that spirit, we hope that enhanced obstetrics and neonatal care services will lay the foundation of a vibrant society where people enjoy full-fledged healthcare services.”

Since 2014, the Government of Japan, through UNFPA, has allocated USD 4.42 million to the provision of reproductive healthcare equipment and infrastructure as well as the enhancement of management of medical aspects of gender-based violence in the conflict-affected Greater Upper Nile from a humanitarian point of view. The Japanese Government is going to further extend the support to obstetrics and neonatal care with an additional USD 1.65 million starting next month.

“This support from the Government of Japan is very crucial as it facilitates timely referral of mothers with pregnancy-related complications to regional health facilities as well as prompt improvement of their capacity to handle such complications. This would go a long way in preventing unnecessary maternal deaths which are contributing to the high maternal mortality rate in the country”, said Mr. Ibrahim Sambuli, UNFPA Country Representative a.i.

While the Health Cluster of the Humanitarian Country Team target the 4.7 million people, UNFPA and its partners estimate that there will be 190,000 births in 2016, among which 23,500 are likely to get pregnancy-related complications.

For more information, please contact the following: Mr. Ibrahim Sambuli, UNFPA Country Representative a.i. in South Sudan Tel: +211(0)956275402 E-mail: Mr. Koji Ito, Development Cooperation, Embassy of Japan in South Sudan at Tel: +211(0)95 6481145, E-mail:

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