Japan and UNDP join hands... To boost oxygen supply to NE

New Delhi, May 20
As the second wave of the pandemic continues to spread in India at an unprecedented pace, the Government of Japan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India have partnered to provide oxygen generation plants to the North Eastern Region in India.
Since June last year, the Government of Japan and the UNDP India have been jointly supporting the Government of India's response to the COVID-19 pandemic through strengthening of health and social protection systems and reviving livelihoods to address the devastating impacts on the lives of the most vulnerable population.
In the context of the ongoing pandemic overwhelming the health system across the country, one of the key challenges has been the acute shortage of medical oxygen. To ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply, the support from the people of Japan has enabled UNDP in procuring and installing eight Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants in the States of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura in the North Eastern Region of India, said UNDP.
Hospitals, with a capacity of approximately 1,300 beds in total, have been identified in the region for these oxygen generation plants. Excess oxygen will be distributed among other health facilities in the hospitals' vicinity. The installation sites are being prepared so that the oxygen production can start at the earliest, it added.
"Japan stands with India, our friend and partner, in her efforts to fight against COVID-19 pandemic at this critical time. I am pleased that Japan is working with UNDP to provide vital oxygen generation plants for the people of India's North East. India's North East occupies a special place for Japan-India relations and I sincerely hope that the oxygen generation plants will help those people in need in the North Eastern Region of India," said by Satoshi Suzuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to  India.
"I would like to thank the people of Japan for this critical support that will allow UNDP to ensure uninterrupted flow of oxygen in hospitals and health centres in the region, especially those in the hard-to-reach areas. The situation in India is devastating and the pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives. UNDP urgently needs additional support to ensure that we reach the last mile to leave no one behind," said Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India.
In addition to this, UNDP has also been supporting the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with digitization of the supply chain of vaccines and tracking beneficiaries across States to ensure better access and coverage. It has also helped build capacities of 820,500 frontline workers across the country to support the 'world's largest vaccination drive'.
The Government of Japan has also promised a sizable commitment of providing critical items to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.