UAE-based multinational logistics company DP World has come together with UNICEF in a partnership deal aiming to support the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related immunization supplies to low- and lower-middle-income countries.
The agreement is the biggest established to date to support UNICEF’s part in collecting and supplying two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and auxiliary vaccination supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility, a global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and GAVI Alliance that aims to ensure fair and equitable access for vaccines worldwide.
Besides vaccine supply, DP World and UNICEF will also join forces on other global programs in support of education, health, women’s empowerment and water and sanitation.
Under the agreement, DP World will offer its logistics solutions, supply-chain expertise and access to its warehouse facilities in Dubai with which UNICEF will have a flawless connection to many countries.
In addition, DP World is committed to strengthening its logistics infrastructure and services across the world in support of COVID-19 vaccine logistics needs, including transport, port and storage requirements. UNICEF is currently utilizing Dubai as a strategic hub for pre-positioning auxiliary materials needed for the COVID-19 vaccine campaigns, like syringes and safety boxes.
The agreement was signed by Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World. The partnership, which came into life from UNICEF’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Supply Chain and Transport Community that seeks to improve collective action from the global community to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, of which DP world is a member.
“Distributing COVID-19 vaccines is humanity’s biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War. 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.”
Commenting on the partnership Ms. Fore stated that, “The pandemic has turned children’s worlds upside down, disrupting their education, health and protection. 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 the new deal, DP World and UNICEF will collaborate to address logistical bottlenecks hindering children and their families’ access to essential supplies through advocacy and sharing of knowledge and expertise.