supplies update

© UNICEF/HQ98-0798/Horner
A worker at the UNICEF Supply Division warehouse counts out pencils for a UNICEF ‘school-in-a-box’, a kit of basic learning materials designed to meet the educational needs of children in emergency situations.
COPENHAGEN/NEW YORK, 17 August 2004 – Since the humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region began, UNICEF has airlifted essential life-saving supplies to aid hundreds of thousands of displaced children there. To date, these supplies include 3.9 million doses of measles vaccine, 3,000 tonnes of therapeutic milk, 2,500 educational kits and nearly 11 million water purification tablets.

Like children and their families in other emergency countries, Darfur’s population is benefiting from the work of the UNICEF Supply Division, located thousands of kilometres away in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Supply Division is responsible for overseeing UNICEF’s global procurement and logistics operations. Providing supplies for children has been key to UNICEF activities since the organization's founding in 1946.

“UNICEF is the world’s largest supplier of children’s vaccines”

© UNICEF/HQ03-0253/Noorani
UNICEF workers unload a shipment of ‘school-in-a-box’ kits from an airplane at the international airport in Baghdad, Iraq.
In 2003, Supply Division procured $709 million worth of supplies, for programmes in countries around the world, related to UNICEF’s priorities in girls’ education, immunization ‘plus’, child protection, fighting HIV/AIDS and early childhood development.

“UNICEF is the world’s largest supplier of children’s vaccines. We cover most of the main childhood diseases,” says Alan Court, Director of the Supply Division. “There is also work that we are doing in HIV/AIDS – we buy antiretroviral drugs and distribute them to countries.”

Supply Division has also expanded its role significantly in the procurement of educational supplies, with a total value of $56 million procured in 2003.

Supply Division’s main warehouse is in Copenhagen. It covers 25,000 square metres, the equivalent of three football fields, and is equipped with the latest technology. In addition, Supply Division is establishing a series of strategic emergency warehouses in South Africa, Thailand, Dubai and Panama.

Supply Division works to ensure that high quality, good value supplies reach children and their families when needed. In emergencies, Supply Division can respond within 48 hours.

Responding to emergencies in 2003

© UNICEF/HQ 03-0240/Noorani
Zainab Abdul Rehda, 11, in class at a primary school in Baghdad. The writing materials and other supplies used at this school are from a UNICEF-supplied ‘school-in-a-box’ kit. The kits each contain sufficient basic materials for 1 teacher and 80 students.
The year 2003 was marked by severe and complex emergencies of great magnitude. Supply Division played an important role in supporting UNICEF’s efforts to respond to these emergencies.

During the Iraq emergency, the value of orders processed exceeded $51 million in 2003 – an unprecedented amount for a single emergency in one year. In June 2003, Supply Division began to work as part of efforts to get 4 million Iraqi children back to school. This was the largest education supply operation for UNICEF in its history.

A terrible earthquake hit Iran on 26 December 2003; within 24 hours, taking advantage of a free charter plane offered by the Belgium Government, the Supply Division in Copenhagen had put together 416 school-in-a-box kits, covering the educational needs of more than 33,000 children. Within 36 hours, emergency health kits to cover the needs of 120,000 people for three months, more than 14,000 blankets, 5,000 water tanks and other shelter supplies were flown out of Copenhagen and reached Bam.

Supplies: At the centre of what UNICEF does

“This operation is at the centre of what UNICEF does, to really improve children’s lives and to be an essential part of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Supplies become a part of the core of achieving children’s rights when we provide children with equitable access to goods and services everywhere,” says Mr. Court. Supply Division uses its expertise, integrity and global reach to help ensure that children’s rights become a reality for every child.



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17 August 2004: Learn more about Supply Division’s work.

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