Nov 13, 2020

UNICEF Leading the Procurement of COVID-19 Vaccine


Dear Friend,

While UNICEF continues to implement programs to keep children and their families safe and supported throughout the pandemic, we are also leading efforts to procure and supply COVID-19 vaccines for 92 low-and lower middle-income countries.

As the largest vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF is leveraging its unique experience to work with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of vaccine doses as well as freight, logistics and storage of COVID-19 vaccines. The organization will lean into its decades of work in immunizations to ensure swift, equitable access once vaccines are available: mapping cold chain equipment capacity, developing advance purchase agreements, advising governments on immunization policy, building trust in vaccination and demand for forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines.

As details continue to be developed and refined, UNICEF’s decades of expertise in procuring vaccines and supplies and delivering health programs, as well as insights gained from the COVID-19 response across the world, will provide a clear roadmap of what will be required to support a swift, effective and equitable global response. That said, UNICEF is undertaking the following work to set the world up for success as it moves forward with a potential rollout of a vaccine:

  • Pre-positioning of over 520 million syringes and 5.2 million safety boxes to fill supply gaps in the most vulnerable communities around the globe;
  • Purchase  nearly 92,000 vaccine fridges, cold boxes and vaccine carriers;
  • Provide 16 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep healthcare workers safe;
  • Support for temperature-controlled freight, ground logistics, and warehousing;
  • 10 million surge stocks of diagnostic test and treatments; and
  • Provide healthcare worker training in hundreds of languages to 215 million healthcare workers

Thanks to your support, UNICEF will be able to mitigate the negative consequences of COVID-19 and work with partners to reimagine and develop a world that is a safer and more equitable place for communities and children everywhere.


Many Thanks,



Oct 20, 2020

Update: Mitigating Public Health Impacts of COVID

Dear Friend,

Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the global number of cases per day continues to increase. As the pandemic endures, it perpetuates an unprecedented socioeconomic, humanitarian, and human rights crisis which is taking its toll on the most vulnerable worldwide. The pandemic has threatened hard-won gains to protect and advance children’s rights to adequate health, nutrition and education, and has the potential to cause irreversible damage to the social and emotional development of an entire generation.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is overstretching health systems, exacerbating deep inequities within countries and across regions, and causing children to face widespread disparities. Ninety percent of countries are experiencing a disruption in the ability to provide crucial healthcare services, leaving millions of children at risk of illness and death. Furthermore, due to the suspension of services and movement restrictions, there has been a decline in access to routine immunizations for mothers and children.

Before the pandemic, UNICEF reached approximately 45 percent of the world’s children under the age of five with vaccines each year.As the search for an effective and safe vaccine for all countries ramps up, UNICEF is playing a critical role in preparing for what could be the largest, most rapid vaccination program the world has seen to date:

  • SCALE: UNICEF procures more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually, for routine immunization and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries, making it the largest single vaccine buyer in the world,
  • EXPERTISE: UNICEF is the main procurement partner of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance which over the last 20 years has reached more than more than 760 million children with life-saving vaccines, preventing more than 13 million deaths.
  • INFLUENCE: UNICEF has worked with the governments of nearly 100 countries in low- and lower middle-income countries to provide technical support and expertise to support their vaccination programs.
  • REACH: UNICEF has been working on health systems strengthening for the past 70 years, and understands the role of a grassroots, bottom up approach to support health outcomes at the community level.

 Your support of UNICEF’s emergency programs has helped ensure the systems are in place, should a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine become available. You have also helped protect children from other harmful diseases as the world grapples with the effects of the pandemic.

Due to your support, UNICEF will be able to support vulnerable populations in mitigating the negative consequences of COVID-19. As the pandemic continues, UNICEF is working with partners to reimagine and develop a world that is a safer and more equitable place for communities and children everywhere. Today, new technologies and avenues exist as global stakeholders aim to provide a vaccine for the disease. It is UNICEF’s goal to ensure that in a post-pandemic world, all children will be better off than before. In the words of UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, “What the world looks like for children and young people tomorrow is our collective responsibility today.”


In Partnership,

Whitney Simon

Oct 12, 2020

Update: Fires Break Out in Moria Refugee Camp

Dear Friend,

Moria Centre, the largest refugee camp in Greece, caught fire on September 9, displacing the entire population of the camp. Its residents are primarily Syrian and Afghani families who have fled violence in their home countries, hoping to find safety in Greece. A month after the fire broke out, nearly 9,500 refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers within the tent site living in temporary structures and with extremely limited access to services remain. Water, sanitation and hygiene continue to be extremely problematic due to the transitory nature of the site and WASH facilities are far below the standards and number needed to support the population.

UNICEF’s priority going forward is to secure the immediate safety and protection of the 4,200 refugee and migrant children, including 400 unaccompanied children, who have been displaced by the fire.

As a result of your generosity, UNICEF was able to transform its existing Child and Family Support Hub into an emergency shelter for the most vulnerable including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, single mothers, and others with critical needs. Additionally, UNICEF and partners on the ground are providing structured activities for women and children inside the site. These include:

  • Child Friendly Space activities
  • Mother and Baby Corner
  • Non-formal Education
  • Structured psychosocial support

Finally, UNICEF is providing WASH and dignity kits, educational and recreational materials, sanitary products, and baby formula to the most vulnerable children and families in Lesvos.

In the weeks and months to come, UNICEF will continue to work with partners to provide the critical support children and families effected by these fires need. These efforts will include the creation of emergency shelter, the provision of supplies, the continuation of education, distribution of water and support for sanitation and hygiene efforts. These efforts will all be coordinated in consideration of the COVID-19 context.

Your support has enabled UNICEF and its partners to provide urgently needed assistance to the directly affected children, including separated and unaccompanied minors, within the context of COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for continuing to stand with UNICEF and with child migrants when it is needed most.


In Partnership,

Whitney Simon


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