Saudia Cargo joins UNICEF Humanitarian Initiative to support worldwide vaccines delivery mission
RIYADH: Saudia Cargo has become one of the first air cargo carriers to join the Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative launched by UNICEF to support the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccines delivery alongside essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies to fight the pandemic.
The members of the initiative are 10 leading airlines which together cover routes to over 100 countries with one goal in mind, to support the COVAX Facility – the global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines regardless of any country’s income level.
COVAX Facility’s first round distribution plan provides doses to 145 countries starting the first half of 2021. These countries will immunize 3% of their population, on average and subject to all requirements and final allocation plans.
The initiative commits airlines to prioritize the shipment of all live-saving supplies, add freight capacity to routes whenever necessary, and take the important measures of temperature control and security.
“Saudia Cargo is ready and on full power to operate for UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative and take part in this global vaccines delivery effort through Saudia Cargo’s wide range of destinations and connection points. We fully understand our role and will work hand in hand with UNICEF and ensure the maximum global reach for the vaccines. Safe, timely and efficient transportation of these supplies is paramount and we are sure our air freighters will expertly get the job done,” said Saudia Cargo CEO Omar Hariri.
“Delivery of these life-saving vaccines is a monumental and complex undertaking, considering the sheer volumes that need to be transported, the cold chain requirements, the number of expected deliveries and the diversity of routes” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF Supply Division. “We are grateful to these airlines for joining forces with the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to support the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines.”
The 10 strong fleets of the world’s finest airfreight companies operating upon COVAX Facility’s effective delivery strategy will form a global logistics preparedness mechanism for any potential humanitarian health crises on short and long terms. For now, the COVAX deliveries and subsequent vaccinations to frontline health workers remains with utmost importance to empower their critical role in this unprecedented global scenario