The executive director of UNICEF has said the agency needs a further $1 billion of funding to ensure it can supply Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX program and support healthcare systems in the world’s poorest nations.
“We have been asking the world for more funding … for UNICEF and our distribution to countries, we still need about $1 billion,” UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore said on Wednesday during a virtual meeting organized by Dubai’s World Government Summit.
She said the money would help the child-focused emergency charity distribute Covid-19 jabs globally and could also be used to support underfunded healthcare systems in some of the world’s poorest nations during the pandemic.
UNICEF is part of the World Health Organization-backed COVAX program, but Fore said it was unlikely COVAX would have the resources to deliver vaccines to all countries in need this year.
The UN agency has emerged as the world’s single largest buyer of Covid-19 vaccines and aims to play a key role in the planned delivery of two billion jabs through the program this year.
In November, it said it was working with 350 logistics partners, including major airlines and shipping companies, to ensure the delivery of nearly two billion Covid-19 vaccines to more than 92 countries, as well as a billion syringes.
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