Covid: Unicef signs up Dubai's DP World to help distribute vaccines at no cost

Dubai - The partnership will support UNICEF's role in supplying 2 billion doses of Covid vaccines.

By Reuters

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 11:01 AM

Last updated: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 11:05 AM

The United Nations children's agency Unicef signed a partnership deal with DP World on Wednesday for the Dubai-based logistics firm to help distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

Also read: Dubai has largest airside storage, distribution hub

State-owned DP World, known for its global port operations, will provide transport and storage to Unicef at no cost, helping low and middle-income countries access vaccines, a joint statement 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," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World.

DP World has a presence across emerging markets, including in Africa and Asia, and its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai is the Middle East's biggest transhipment hub.

The partnership will support UNICEF's role in procuring and supplying 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines and immunisation supplies as part of COVAX, a global Covid-19 vaccine allocation plan with the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVAX aims to deliver 2.3 billion doses by the end of this year, including 1.8 billion to lower income countries at no cost to their governments, Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI alliance that co-leads COVAX, said on Tuesday.

“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,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

UNICEF and DP World also agreed to work together on other issues such as education, health, women’s empowerment and water and sanitation, their statement said.

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