Covid-19: UAE's Hope Consortium supports Unicef and Covax by transporting ultra-cold freezers for vaccines to Africa

Abu Dhabi-led initiative delivers 65 ultra-cold freezers, enabling over 20 African nations to scale immunisation programmes.


A Staff Reporter

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AFP file
AFP file

Published: Tue 28 Dec 2021, 11:22 AM

Last updated: Tue 28 Dec 2021, 11:47 AM

Following the UAE’s multilateral in-kind contribution and commitment to Unicef to support Covax in its global vaccine distribution efforts, the Hope Consortium and Unicef have entered into an agreement to support delivery of 65 ultra-cold freezers to Africa. The freezers are necessary for Covid-19 vaccines requiring ultra-cold storage and to enable African nations to efficiently absorb incoming vaccine supplies recently donated by the United States of America.

Facilitated by Hope Consortium partners and other logistics providers, the shipment will reach 21 African nations, including Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Eswatini, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Sao Tome, and Zambia.

Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, said: “The UAE remains committed to doing our part to mitigate the effects of the pandemic by helping countries overcome the logistical and technical challenges associated with the delivery of large-scale vaccination programmes. Our partnership with Unicef plays a vital role in helping implement an effective global response to Covid-19, particularly within Africa. We are proud to support international efforts such as Covax by dedicating the unique services of the Hope Consortium.”

The Covax mission seeks to ensure that vaccine supplies are equitably distributed to the world’s population. However, many nations face logistical limitations in their capacity to receive and safely store the temperature- sensitive vaccine supplies. To that end, the 65 ultra-cold freezers are a necessary preparatory strategy to enhance cold chain capabilities within recipient countries in anticipation of incoming deliveries of vaccines requiring storage at ultra-cold temperatures.

Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division, said: “These deliveries of ultra-cold freezers mark an important step towards equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. This critical infrastructure will boost the capacity of African countries to scale Covid-19 vaccine roll-out and will also support the management of other vaccines that may require ultra-cold storage temperatures."


Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Hope Consortium, and Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, stated: “Since no one is safe until everyone is safe, it is imperative to ensure that all nations across the world possess the capabilities required to store and administer a wide array of vaccines globally available. By working with UNICEF, Etihad and our logistics partners together, we are committed to do our part in helping establish the necessary cold chain infrastructure needed to deliver hope and the necessary supplies to communities in need and help chart a path towards a lasting recovery”

The Hope Consortium, along with its partners, has developed a vaccine hub in Abu Dhabi that can accommodate over 120 million vaccines at temperatures of +8°C to -30°C at any time, and hosts the UAE’s largest 'Freezer Farm,’ which can store over 11 million vaccine doses requiring the ultra-cold temperature of -70°C.

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