Italy donates 5 million U.S. dollars to help eradicate polio in Afghanistan

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-14 18:24:19|Editor: pengying
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KABUL, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Italian government donated 4.3 million euros (5 million U.S. dollars) to the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) to help eradicate polio in Afghanistan, a UNICEF statement said here on Tuesday.

"Of this amount, 2.5 million euros (2.9 million dollars) 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 said.

The statement also said that the remaining 1.8 million euros (2.1 million dollars) 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.

"Improving the nutritional status of children in Afghanistan is a priority," said Adele Khodr, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan 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, according to the statement, 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.