'Humanity's biggest logistics challenge since Second World War': Unicef teams up with Dubai's DP World to distribute Covid-19 vaccines

Dubai's ports and logistics company to provide free vaccine transport and storage for the UN children's body

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Unicef has teamed up with DP World to help distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

The UN's children's organisation and Dubai's ports and logistics company will provide vaccine transport and storage to Unicef free of charge, which will help low and middle-income countries to access the vital medicines.

DP Port has an extensive logistics network in Africa and Asia, as well as its flagship Jebel Ali Port.

Distributing Covid-19 vaccines is humanity's biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War

The new partnership – with a multimillion-dollar value – is the largest to date to support Unicef's lead role as part of Covax.

Covax, which comprises 190 countries and the World Health Organisation, is an initiative to promote equitable access to vaccines and deliver two billion doses to countries most in need by the end of 2021.

"Distributing Covid-19 vaccines is humanity's biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War," said Sultan bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World.

“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," he said.

Henrietta Fore, Unicef executive director, said the pandemic had turned children's lives upside down and disrupted their education, health and protection. 
"Vaccines will be a big step towards putting children's lives back on track," she said.

"This new partnership will support our collective efforts to ensure equitable, affordable and sustainable access to Covid-19 vaccines."

DP World and Unicef agreed to address logistical bottlenecks hindering children and their families' access to essential supplies through advocacy and sharing of knowledge.

Countries around the world are grappling with vaccine shortages as cases surge again.

Authorities have imposed lockdowns and introduced travel bans to control the resurgence while vaccines are delivered.