Escalating needs of children drive UNICEF’s biggest-ever procurement of life-saving supplies
In 2022, UNICEF procured US$7.383 billion in goods and services to reach children living through conflict, war, climate-related disasters and food insecurity.
COPENHAGEN, 7 June 2023 – Responding to the growing needs of children worldwide, UNICEF marked a sixth consecutive year of record-breaking procurement in 2022. This included the delivery of 3.4 billion vaccine doses, 2.1 billion water purification tablets, 38.1 million long-lasting insecticidal nets, 162,000 education kits, and enough ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to treat around 5.1 million children suffering from severe wasting.
The total value of UNICEF-procured supplies and services reached a record US$7.383 billion – a 93 per cent increase compared to pre-pandemic levels – fuelled in part by the growing needs of children and families living through new and ongoing humanitarian emergencies including in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Yemen, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel.
“UNICEF’s procurement level in 2022 underscores a global confluence of crises, with more children in need of humanitarian assistance than at any other time since the Second World War,” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s global supply and logistics operations. “Working in collaboration with governments, partners and donors, UNICEF took urgent action to reach vulnerable children and their families with essential supplies, while also working to strengthen the systems that children depend on, such as health care, water, sanitation and education.”
According to the UNICEF Supply Annual Report released today, the organization transported over 244,000 metric tons of supplies to 162 countries and areas – a weight equivalent to that of 1,200 Boeing 747 aircraft – including the delivery of emergency supplies to 140 countries and areas. In addition, UNICEF delivered 2.4 billion routine vaccine doses to reach 45 per cent of the world’s children under 5 years of age, alongside 977.9 million doses for COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.
Also highlighted in the report is a 90 per cent increase in the procurement of nutrition supplies between 2021 and 2022 in response to the growing global nutrition crises and increased demand for RUTF. Large-scale deliveries took place to the Horn of Africa, where five successive failed rainy seasons in the past three years have left over 1.9 million children at risk of dying from severe malnutrition.
In a major development in child health last year, UNICEF awarded a contract for the first-ever supply of a malaria vaccine. The breakthrough follows successful pilot programmes in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation for widespread use in countries with moderate to high malaria transmission. UNICEF is working with partners to ensure a healthy malaria vaccine market, forecast demand, and procure and deliver the vaccine, which will help to protect against one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 years of age.
Critical to UNICEF’s emergency response efforts is its network of global supply hubs in Copenhagen, Brindisi, Dubai, Guangzhou and Panama City, which stock supplies that are ready to be delivered as quickly as possible to reach children and families. Strategically located around the world, these hubs packed and delivered 409,000 kits including medicines, school items, and sanitation and hygiene supplies to support children’s healthcare, education and protection.
To overcome bottlenecks and demands placed on humanitarian supply chains, UNICEF built upon its partnerships with the transport and logistics sectors in 2022. Thanks to collaborative action, UNICEF was able to deliver critical aid by donated air, sea and road transport to 27 countries.
As war, disease outbreaks, climate change, and food and nutrition crises turn children’s lives upside down, UNICEF remains committed to reaching children with the vital supplies and services they need to survive and thrive.