Jakarta (ANTARA) - The US government and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) signed a new five-year agreement to support Indonesia's response to the immediate risks of the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term impacts on children.

The US government inked the new five-year agreement with UNICEF through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Jakarta on Monday.

"COVID-19 has changed the lives of children in Indonesia, but this pandemic should not deny the children’s rights to a healthy future and to realize their full potential," USAID Indonesia Mission Director, Ryan Washburn, stated.

"USAID’s continued partnership with UNICEF will expand our support for Indonesia at this critical time," he remarked.

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The agreement encompasses a US$10-million grant to expedite widespread and equitable delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and to strengthen health systems to better detect, prevent, and respond to COVID-19 that will ultimately reduce illness, deaths, and the spread of the disease.

Moreover, UNICEF will receive a separate US$9-million grant from USAID to support the procurement of critical medical supplies.

USAID’s funding also launched the #COVID19Diaries digital campaign that has provided a platform to youngsters to share their experiences during the pandemic and contributed to the distribution of water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies to over 3.5 million beneficiaries.

"As Indonesia begins to recover from the recent COVID-19 surge, we must remain vigilant in our efforts against the virus and remember that the pandemic is not over yet," UNICEF representative Debora Comini emphasized.

"Millions of children and their communities across the country continue to see drastic impacts on their health, education, and protection. Through this contribution from the United States, UNICEF can continue to support Indonesia to respond to the urgent needs resulting from COVID-19 and the serious repercussions for children that will outlast the current pandemic," she stated.
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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Suharto
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