UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore's remarks at the one-year anniversary of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator
As prepared for delivery
NEW YORK, 23 April 2021 - "UNICEF is proud to be part of the ACT-Accelerator and COVAX.
"We’re applying our experience as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world. We’re working with manufacturers and partners to procure COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as freight, logistics and storage. And we’re procuring diagnostics, therapeutics and PPE.
"In the race to defeat this virus, equity is not a ‘nice to have’ — it’s a necessity. Each time the virus is transmitted somewhere in the world, it can evolve and new variants could emerge This threatens recovery everywhere.
"So we need to get vaccines off the tarmac and into the arms of those who need them.
"That means helping governments prepare to receive the vaccines. It means having appropriate cold chain equipment in place. It means training health workers. It means building trust and tackling misinformation. And it means delivering other critical interventions – infection control, PPE, handwashing supplies, and more.
"All of this requires funding. And countries are having a hard time finding room in their domestic budgets for the rollout — which could lead to vaccine supplies being wasted or countries sacrificing other vital health programmes.
"They need our support now.
"Help us close the overall funding gap for ACT-A. UNICEF urgently requires flexible funds for the vaccine rollout and for tests, treatments and supplies.
"Let’s make sure the light at the end of the tunnel shines for us all. Thank you."
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