Demand for life-saving supplies for children at an all-time high as UNICEF commemorates 60 years of operations in Copenhagen

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson visits humanitarian warehouse to mark historic milestone

06 October 2022
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson visits humanitarian warehouse
UNICEF/UN0713060/Asamoah
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson visits humanitarian warehouse in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN/NEW YORK, 5 October 2022 – UNICEF is commemorating 60 years of delivering emergency supplies to the world's most vulnerable children from its Global Supply and Logistics Hub in Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen Hub has been shipping supplies – such as medical instruments, medicines, hygiene supplies, education materials, and sanitation equipment – at record pace in recent years in response to a growing number of humanitarian crises around the world, including in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, South Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Children’s humanitarian needs have never been greater – and so the work of UNICEF’s Global Supply and Logistics hub in Copenhagen has never been more important,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “The best way to mark this important milestone is by redoubling our efforts to reach every child at risk with the essential supplies that can help them survive crises and rebuild their lives. UNICEF is deeply grateful to the Government and the people of Denmark for supporting us in this vital work, and we look forward to the next 60 years of delivering life-saving supplies wherever and whenever they are needed.”

This year, 480,000 metric tons of emergency supplies have shipped from the warehouse so far, including 1,400 trucks sent in response to the war in Ukraine, transporting 10,484 metric tons of supplies. The shipments include more than 800,000 emergency kits including midwifery, emergency medical, and family hygiene kits.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Supply and Logistics Hub led procurement, transport, and logistics for COVAX – a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Since the first shipment in February 2021, the Hub has facilitated the safe arrival of 1.7 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 146 countries and territories, as well as millions of syringes, cold storage equipment, and personal protective equipment for health workers.

Last week, as part of the commemorations, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson visited the warehouse, helping to pack supplies for children in Afghanistan.

“When an emergency hits – and children are forced from their homes, schools and communities – the supplies sent from UNICEF’s warehouse in Copenhagen can be the difference between life and death,” said Liam Neeson. “From oxygen equipment, tablets to purify water, mosquito nets, volleyballs, to entire schools, UNICEF is getting supplies to children around the clock to make sure they survive and thrive. That’s 24/7, seven days a week, non-stop!”

Established in 1962, the office and warehouse space – now the largest humanitarian warehouse in the world – was gifted by the government of Denmark to UNICEF to house its global supply and logistics operations. Since then, tens of thousands of cargo planes, ships, trucks and trains have left Copenhagen with countless tons of life-saving supplies for children living in conflict zones, natural disasters and other emergency settings around the world.

In total, UNICEF's supply and logistics function procured US $7.181 billion worth of goods and services for children and their families in 160 countries and areas last year.

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Notes to Editors

On Friday 7th October, 16.30, HRH the Crown Princess and UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russellwill join UNICEF supporters for a celebration of the 60th anniversary of UNICEF Supply Division in Denmark, co-hosted with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Media are invited to register to attend by contacting Stephanie Brickman, UNICEF Supply Division Communications, Tel +45 40 87 48 76 or email sbrickman@unicef.org 

The event will take place at UNICEF’s warehouse: Oceanvej 10-12, 2150 København.

Media contacts

Anne Sophie Bonefeld
UNICEF Copenhagen
Tel: +45 24 69 46 76

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit https://www.unicef.org/eca/.

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