UNICEF has been entrusted to lead the COVID-19 vaccine distribution program in 92 countries, tasked to ensure delivery of 2 billion doses in 2021 to more than 180 countries. It will be the largest and fastest vaccination program in history. To achieve this goal, UNICEF and partners will focus our efforts on diagnostics, treatment and equitable access to the vaccine - prioritizing community engagement across each of these pillars.
Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the global number of cases per day continues to increase. As the pandemic endures, it perpetuates an unprecedented economic and human rights crisis which is taking its toll on the most vulnerable worldwide. From UNICEF's perspective 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 an entire generation.
Before the pandemic, UNICEF reached approximately 45 percent of the world's children under the age of five with vaccines each year. Alongside governments and global partners, UNICEF is committed to ensuring that decades of progress made in child health is not lost due to COVID-19. UNICEF will continue to provide the best means possible to deliver results in the most critical areas through various avenues including diagnostics, treatment and equitable delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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. 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."