More than 10 Airlines have signed agreements with UNICEF to support its ‘Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative. The Airlines are AirBridgeCargo, Air France/KLM, Astral Aviation, Brussels Airlines, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Skycargo, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, IAG Cargo, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar Airways, SAUDIA, Singapore Airlines Ltd, and United Airlines.
According to a statement by UNICEF, the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative has been formed with leading airlines to secure the transport of vaccines, and other life-saving supplies worldwide. These airlines have signed agreements with UNICEF to support the prioritization of delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies to respond to the pandemic.
To help UNICEF reach participating countries swiftly and securely, airlines have committed to prioritizing the transport of the life-saving supplies, ensuring measures such as temperature control and security and adding freight capacity to routes where needed.
The initiative supports the COVAX Facility, a global solution to the COVID-19 pandemic that ensures participating countries have fair access to vaccines, regardless of their income level. Under COVAX, UNICEF is leading the procurement and delivery of quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines for low-income and lower-middle-income countries.
The participation of the airline industry is vital to support equal access to vaccines worldwide. The initiative will also act as a global logistics preparedness mechanism for other humanitarian and health crises over the longer term.