Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Major airlines join forces with UNICEF


The world’s leading airlines are backing a landmark UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) initiative to prioritize delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, essential medicines and other critical supplies across the globe.

More than 10 airlines are signing agreements with the UN agency to support its “Humanitari­an Airfreight Initiative,” which will also act as a global logistics preparedne­ss mechanism for other humanitari­an and health crises over the longer term.

“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,” Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF Supply Division said.

Airlines covering routes to over 100 countries will support the Covax Facility — the global effort aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Beginning this year and subject to all requiremen­ts being met and allocation plans finalized, 145 countries will receive doses to immunize an average of three percent of their population­s.

This is according to the Covax facility’s first-round allocation plan.

In addition to prioritizi­ng the shipments of life-saving supplies, the airlines will take measures, such as temperatur­e control and security, while also adding freight capacity to routes, as needed.

UNICEF stressed that its commitment­s are essential to the “timely and secure delivery” of vaccines and critical supplies.

“Safe, timely and efficient transporta­tion of life-saving supplies is critical to supporting access to essential services for children and families,” UNICEF said.

Moreover, Covax deliveries and the subsequent vaccinatio­n of frontline workers will support health and social care systems to safely resume these critical services.

 ?? PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UN ?? UNICEF delivered essential medical equipment to Uganda in early February.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UN UNICEF delivered essential medical equipment to Uganda in early February.

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