Armenia has received a $3.7 million grant from Japan to buy sophisticated medical equipment that could be used in its fight against the coronavirus.
An agreement on the release of the Japanese government grant was signed on Tuesday by Armenian Finance Minister Atom Janjughazian and Japan’s Ambassador to Armenia Jun Yamada.
The Armenian Finance Ministry said the money will be spent on the purchase of Japanese-made magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines and other medical equipment. It said some of that equipment will be installed in four ambulance vehicles catering for residents of the country’s remote communities.
“This project aims to assist Armenia in its fight against the COVID-19 epidemic by strengthening its mid- to long-term healthcare and medical system,” read a statement released by the Japanese Embassy in Yerevan.
“I sincerely hope that the new equipment from Japan will contribute to significantly upgrading the capacity of healthcare and medical institutions in the country,” it quoted Yamada as saying.
Health Minister Arsen Torosian thanked the Japanese government for the donation, according to the statement.
Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, Armenia has also received medical equipment and other supplies from the United States, the European Union, Russia and China.
U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on June 4 that Washington has allocated $5.4 million in fresh coronavirus-related aid to Armenia. She said much of that aid will be channeled into Armenian laboratories and healthcare services dealing with “the most severe cases” of COVID-19.
Japan is also the main foreign donor of the Armenian Rescue Service (ARS), having provided it with several dozen fire engines and other firefighting equipment, worth a combined $22 million, over the past decade.