DP World and UNICEF have announced a wide-ranging partnership to support the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related immunization supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
The new partnership – with a multi-million dollar value – is the largest to date to support UNICEF’s lead role in procuring and supplying 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and auxiliary vaccination supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility.
DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate on other global programs in support of education, health, women’s empowerment and water and sanitation.
The port operator will provide UNICEF with logistics solutions and supply-chain expertise. By using DP World’s warehouse facilities in Dubai, UNICEF will have optimized 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 partnership was signed by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World.
It arose from UNICEF’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Supply Chain and Transport Community, of which DP World is a member and explores how the community collectively could support an equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines globally.
Sulayem said “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.”
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, also commented, “The pandemic has turned children’s world 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 this partnership, DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate to address logistical bottlenecks hindering children and their families’ access to essential supplies through advocacy, knowledge and expertise sharing.