Scottish Government supports access to COVID-19 vaccines in Zambia
UNICEF Zambia is to receive £500,000 from the Scottish Government to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
Funds will support both the COVID-19 vaccination programme and strengthening of the country’s health system, through the provision of equipment, resources and technical support in response to the pandemic.
The donation to UNICEF Zambia is part of a wider donation of £1.5 million, made by the Scottish Government to UNICEF, to support access to COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in three African countries; Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.
The funding will help to strengthen Zambia’s national health system through the provision of oxygen supplies, supporting oxygen generation plants and strengthening cold chain infrastructure – initiatives that will create sustained impact for both the COVID-19 response, the routine immunisation programme and the treatment of respiratory illnesses for years to come.
The donation will also enable UNICEF to provide information about, and build confidence and acceptance of, the COVID-19 vaccines at community level – a vital part of the programme which aims to reach over 5 million people in total.
Antoinette Eleonore Ba, UNICEF Health Specialist for Eastern and Southern Africa, said:
“Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have made great strides in tackling the pandemic, but there is still much more work to be done to support the operational planning and logistics of COVID-19 vaccine roll outs. Scottish Government funding will provide valuable support for UNICEF’s response in Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia, including making sure communities have the information they need to access vaccines, providing supplies such as syringes for administering the vaccines and increasing cold chain capacity and oxygen provision – all key interventions that will strengthen health systems in the three countries to both help save lives now and in the future.”
Scotland’s Minister for International Development Neil Gray said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is a disease that does not recognise nations or borders, and we are well aware of the inequity in the access to COVID-19 vaccines across the world.
“This partnership with UNICEF will allow us to support our partner country governments in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda in their COVID-19 response, and will go some way to addressing vaccine inequity in Africa.
“By working together on this shared challenge and helping to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in our partner countries', this funding also underlines this government’s commitment to international solidarity and to fulfilling its role as a responsible and compassionate global citizen.”
Notes to editors
- In December 2020, the Scottish Government provided UNICEF with a grant of £2 million to assist with their support of African governments’ COVID-19 response
- The grant ensured that the Scottish Government could support Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda to implement their COVID-19 national response plans
- The funds were also used to help the governments of Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda prepare for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations
- UNICEF is an existing partner of the Governments of Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda, and has supported the supply and management of vaccines and the routine immunisation programmes for decades
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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 in Zambia, visit www.unicef.org/zambia.