The UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative has been formed with the world’s leading airlines to secure the transport of Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies around the globe.
These chosen carriers have signing agreements with UNICEF to support the prioritisation of delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies to respond to the pandemic.
The airfreight initiative supports the COVAX Facility’s efforts to ensure that countries have fair access to vaccines, regardless of income level. Under COVAX, UNICEF is leading the procurement and delivery of quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines for low-income and lower-middle-income countries.
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To help the organisation reach participating countries, airlines have pledged to prioritise the transport of life-saving vaccines and said they will take measures to ensure temperature control and security as well as available freight capacity to routes as needed.
UNICEF noted that the airlines’ commitments are critical to the timely and secure delivery of vaccines and supplies and the initiative will serve as a global logistics preparedness mechanism for other humanitarian and health crises over the longer term.
“Safe, timely and efficient transportation of life-saving supplies is critical to supporting access to essential services for children and families,” UNICEF said.
Based on the distribution plan, 145 countries will receive doses to inoculate around three percent of their population, on average, starting in the first half of 2021.
Signing up for UNICEF’s initiative are AirBridgeCargo, Air France/KLM, Astral Aviation, Brussels Airlines, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Skycargo, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, IAG Cargo, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines.