Covid-19 vaccine: Etihad Cargo, Unicef join hands for humanitarian airfreight initiative

Dubai - Airline to supply vaccines, medicines, and other critical supplies to aid children most at risk worldwide.

By Staff Report

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Published: Tue 16 Feb 2021, 2:34 PM

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Cargo has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) to aid the worldwide distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices, and other critical supplies to respond to the pandemic.

The UAE’s national carrier’s initial commitment will centre on helping maintain Unicef’s regular immunisation programmes for the world’s most vulnerable children.

“Etihad Cargo had no hesitation in supporting Unicef’s far-reaching humanitarian initiative to aid children most at risk worldwide,” said Martin Drew, SVP for sales and cargo, Etihad Aviation Group.

“This partnership is in line with Etihad Aviation Group’s commitment to improve the wellbeing of people everywhere and underpins Abu Dhabi’s international role in providing humanitarian aid to build a safer world.

“With extensive experience and expertise in safe and efficient pharmaceutical logistics, Etihad Cargo will leverage its Iata Ceiv-certified PharmaLife specialised pharmaceutical and healthcare product for the transportation of pharmaceuticals under temperature control which, under the membership of Abu Dhabi’s The Hope Consortium, is already offering a complete supply chain solution to aid global Covid-19 vaccine distribution.”

Under the MoU, Etihad Cargo will collaborate with UNICEF’s global freight forwarder network, including with regard to services for countries with no commercial access. Services offered include high loading priority for vaccines and essential humanitarian supplies, shipment security and controlled cool chain monitoring and adjusting Etihad Cargo’s cold chain capacity to meet Unicef’s forecast requirements.

“Delivery of these life-saving vaccines is a monumental and complex undertaking, considering the sheer volumes that need to be transported, the cold chain requirements, the number of expected deliveries and the diversity of routes,” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of Unicef Supply Division.

“We are grateful to these airlines for joining forces with the Unicef Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to support the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines,” he added.

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