Abertis, a strategic partner of UNICEF since 2017, has joined UNICEF and its fundamental role in COVAX, in the effort to ensure an equitable distribution of vaccines against COVID-19 throughout the world. The company, the first one to join in Spain, has taken an important step by allocating $400,000 (€334,660) from their alliance so that UNICEF can continue to acquire and distribute vaccines and other essential supplies, such as syringes, to low- and middle-income countries, and so that it can continue supporting countries with information campaigns and training for medical teams so that everything is ready to carry out the complex vaccination process.
“We greatly appreciate the commitment of our ally Abertis over all these years, now more necessary and valuable than ever in response to the additional challenge that COVAX represents. With their support, and that one of other companies and organizations, we will be able to carry out the largest mass health campaign in the world, in record time, to stop the virus and help move towards a better future for the children, youth people and families of all the world. Because no one will be safe until we are all safe”, said Gustavo Suárez Pertierra, president of UNICEF Spain.
“From UNICEF we assume this challenge with enthusiasm and responsibility, putting our capacities at the service of the fight against the pandemic while we continue to protect children around the world with the rest of our usual programs of health, nutrition, protection, education, or water and sanitation”, added Gustavo Suárez Pertierra.
Elena Salgado, chairman of the Abertis Foundation, said: “Making this contribution to UNICEF for COVAX today means joining the largest global humanitarian effort to fight COVID-19. We appeal to other leading companies to support this historic collaboration mechanism, since the only way to end this global crisis is to distribute COVID-19 vaccines quickly and fairly”. Also Georgina Flamme, director of the Abertis Foundation, expressed: “From Abertis and the Foundation, we are proud to continue collaborating with UNICEF to contribute to the end of the pandemic”.
About the COVAX mechanism and the role of UNICEF
COVAX is a revolutionary mechanism for global collaboration that has targeted this year the distribution of 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, of which more than 1,300 will go to countries with fewer resources and to humanitarian crisis situations. This implies an unprecedented sanitary and logistical challenge to bring these vaccines to the whole world, conserving the cold chain and overcoming geographical and socio-political barriers.
UNICEF, thanks to its role as the world's largest supplier of vaccines, is the only organization with the experience, structure and capacity to confront this historic challenge. For this reason, UNICEF has been appointed to take charge of the acquisition, transport and distribution of those 2,000 million doses, between now and the end of 2021.
UNICEF is working closely with airlines and other partners to deliver COVAX vaccines as quickly as possible. UNICEF has delivered the first doses to countries in Africa and Asia, and it is expected that more than 20 countries will continue to receive vaccines and syringes in the coming days to comply with the equitable distribution of vaccines.
The COVAX Mechanism is co-led by Gavi –the Vaccination Alliance–, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), with UNICEF as a key partner for implementation, as well as the World Bank, manufacturers, civil society organizations and others. UNICEF is the organization in charge of the logistics operation, overseeing the process of purchasing, shipping and distributing vaccines.
About the UNICEF-Abertis alliance
Abertis has been a strategic ally of UNICEF since 2017, committed to fighting the leading cause of death in school-age children: road traffic accidents. The 3 million dollars partnership agreement is the first global corporate contribution to UNICEF's road safety programs. In parallel to this, the alliance focuses on alleviating the lack of safe infrastructures, as well as improving the behavior of drivers and pedestrians (including children) and promoting compliance and strengthening of legislation in high-risk countries in relationship with child road safety.
UNICEF works in some of the most difficult places to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. In 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for all.
Abertis is one of the leading international operators in the management of toll roads, with nearly 8,600 kilometers of high-capacity, high-quality roads in 16 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. For Abertis, road safety is a priority. Committed to research and innovation, Abertis combines advances in high-capacity infrastructures with new technologies to promote innovative solutions to meet the mobility challenges of the future.