Dubai: DP World and UNICEF have announced a partnership to support the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related immunisation supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
The new multi-million-dollar partnership is the largest established to date to support UNICEF’s leading role in procuring and supplying two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and auxiliary vaccination supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility, the global pooled procurement mechanism aimed at ensuring fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate on other global programmes in support of education, health, women’s empowerment and water and sanitation.
DP World, a leader in global end-to-end supply chain logistics, will provide UNICEF with logistics solutions and supply-chain expertise. By using DP World’s warehouse facilities in Dubai, UNICEF will have optimal access to many countries. In addition, DP World has committed to leveraging its global logistics infrastructure and services on a pro-bono basis in support of COVID-19 vaccine logistics needs, including transport, port and storage requirements in countries where DP World is present. Dubai is currently used by UNICEF as a strategic hub for pre-positioning auxiliary materials needed for the COVID-19 vaccine campaigns, such as syringes and safety boxes.
The agreement was signed by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World. The partnership, which arose from UNICEF’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Supply Chain and Transport Community, of which DP World is a member, seeks to promote collective action from the global community to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
"Distributing COVID-19 vaccines is humanity's biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem. “We offer our infrastructure and expertise to support this effort because everyone should have access to vaccines, especially the most vulnerable in our society. Unless the vaccine is available to all, the pandemic will not end for anyone."
"The pandemic has turned children's worlds upside down, disrupting their education, health and protection,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Vaccines will be a big step towards putting children’s lives back on track. This new partnership will support our collective efforts to ensure equitable, affordable and sustainable access to COVID-19 vaccines."
Under this partnership, DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate to address logistical bottlenecks hindering children and their families’ access to essential supplies through advocacy and sharing of knowledge and expertise.