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Dubai forms alliance to speed up global distribution of 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines through emirate

Under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai on Sunday launched the Vaccine Logistics Alliance to speed up distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world through the emirate. 

In support of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX initiative and its efforts to equitably distribute two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, the Dubai Vaccines Logistics Alliance combines the expertise and global reach of Emirates airline with DP World’s worldwide network of ports and logistics operations, along with the infrastructure of Dubai Airports and International Humanitarian City to distribute vaccines worldwide. The distribution will particularly focus on emerging markets, where populations have been hard-hit by the pandemic, and pharmaceutical transport and logistics are challenging.

International Humanitarian City, the world’s largest hub for humanitarian logistics based in Dubai, will be a vital partner in the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance bringing its vast expertise in humanitarian logistics for aid material such as food and medicines in markets with limited infrastructure. IHC and Emirates SkyCargo have already partnered on many humanitarian cargo flights and earlier in 2020, also signed an MoU for closer collaboration for humanitarian assistance flights.

DP World, a leader in global supply chain solutions with ports, terminals and logistics operations on every continent, is joining Dubai’s initiative to transport, store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. DP World logistics operations will facilitate the collection of vaccines from manufacturing sites in places like Europe, the US and India and deliver them to airports, seaports and dryports for onward transportation. DP World’s global, GDP-compliant, network of warehousing and distribution hubs will be used to store vaccines for time and temperature sensitive distribution to hospitals and clinics. It will deploy its track-and-trace technology, such as Cargoes Flow, to give real-time information on the location of shipments, and continual temperature control and monitoring. DP World’s ports and terminals, including Jebel Ali in Dubai which is one the largest in the world, will be used to ship, store and distribute medical devices, such as syringes and wipes.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “Humanity will only defeat coronavirus if vaccines can be distributed everywhere. Dubai’s position as a global hub means we have a responsibility to combine our infrastructure and capabilities for this common goal.”

On Wednesday, DP World and Unicef also announced a wide-ranging partnership to support the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related immunisation supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

“Emirates SkyCargo has taken a global leadership position during the COVID-19 pandemic for the distribution of medical supplies and PPE. We recently activated the world’s largest airside hub dedicated to the storage and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at Dubai South. With our modern wide-body aircraft fleet, our network reaching more than 135 cities across six continents including major pharma hubs, and our expertise in handling pharma shipments, we are well placed to work with our partners in the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance in order to make sure that the COVID-19 vaccines are reaching every corner of the globe, especially cities in emerging markets,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), will be contributing to the efforts of the newly formed Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance by providing additional space at dedicated facilities at Dubai International (DXB). The repurposed cargo facilities will act as storage for COVID-19 vaccines that will be transported through its interlinked operations at DXB and DWC.

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