4.9 billion yen loan has been announced by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Pakistan for polio eradication.
"This partnership comes at a critical time for Pakistan and will help us achieve our shared goal of a polio-free world. Japan's remarkable commitment will benefit generations of children in Pakistan and throughout the world", the Daily Times quoted Gates, as saying.
A Global Polio Eradication Initiative report had earlier warned that Pakistan 'risks becoming the last global outpost of this vicious disease, jeopardizing the global effort.'
Japan's loan will provide Pakistan with funds for conducting vaccination activities across the country and along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
It will also involve working in partnership with stakeholders such as the World Bank for co-financing, UNICEF for vaccine procurement and the WHO for service delivery of the polio campaign.
"We are delighted that JICA's strong relationships with partner countries and valuable experience implementing a wide range of critical projects enable us to play a proactive role in harnessing innovation to benefit global aid delivery through collaborations with emerging private donors", The Daily Times quoted JICA President Sadako Ogata, as saying.
"We believe that JICA's new strategic partnership with the Gates Foundation reflects JICA's interest in playing a leading and catalyzing role in development issues", she added.
Japan has been a long-standing donor to polio eradication programmes and has funded initiatives in Pakistan since 1996.