How philanthropists can help end the COVID pandemic for all
The largest and fastest vaccine supply operation in history is underway – and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is leading it on behalf of the co-ordinating body COVAX, to ensure that everyone has access to the COVID-19 vaccine, no matter who they are or where they are.
Every year, UNICEF vaccinates half the world's children against preventable diseases, handling about two billion vaccines for routine immunisation. Now, the task is to procure and deliver an extra two billion to vaccinate adults in low- and middle-income countries.
“Ending the pandemic for all is the goal and this enormous global challenge means that we need to work together like never before,” said Tony Stuart, CEO of UNICEF Australia.
One-third of the organisation’s global budget comes from private sources and that money is crucial at this point in time when governments and traditional sources of funding are being stretched to their limit.
“UNICEF and partners, with generous support from our donors, are working around the clock to distribute two billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect healthcare workers, families and, in turn, children everywhere. From our supply division in Copenhagen to the most remote village, our team is doing whatever it takes to deliver vaccines as no one is safe from COVID-19 until we are all safe,” said Stuart.
As of August 2021, 217.3 million doses of the vaccine have been shipped through COVAX to 138 countries.
One of those countries is the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, where 90 per cent of the eligible population in the country has been vaccinated thanks to donations and dose sharing.
In some of the world’s toughest terrain, the Government and UNICEF worked together with partners to deliver 500,000 vaccines in July alone by helicopter, over rivers and across mountains battling monsoons and landslides to ensure that no one was left behind.
“As we celebrate the successes in Bhutan, we must not forget that the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over - for Bhutan, for its neighbours in the region and for the world, said UNICEF Representative in country and Australian Dr Will Parks.
“With the pandemic raging in the region, the virus still spreading in many countries and producing new variants, and vaccine shortages, we are still at risk of more or prolonged school closures, more healthcare disruptions, and a greater economic fallout – all of which threaten the futures of families and children everywhere.
As UNICEF continues to work with governments in ensuring the safety of people and help societies build back better, to save lives and end the pandemic, the call for donations and opportunity to make a difference has never been greater.
“We are looking to philanthropists, foundations and big business to join us and be part of the solution,” said Tony Stuart.
Find out more about how you can help on the UNICEF COVAX Appeal web page.
This organisation is supported by trusts managed by Equity Trustees.