UNICEF’s global procurement operations increase 17% in 2020


UNICEF’s global procurement and supply operations increased 17% in 2020 to a record $ 4.468 billion, underscoring the organization’s role in supporting governments’ response to the pandemic of COVID-19.

Global demand for medical supplies increased early last year as borders closed, export bans were imposed and international cargo capacity shrank. To address these challenges, UNICEF has capitalized on decades of experience in procurement and logistics, its relationships with suppliers and its work with governments and partners.

“The procurement and logistics challenges of 2020 were not only unprecedented, but extremely complex,” said Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF. “Working with partners, UNICEF has drawn on its strengths to continue to source, procure and deliver life-saving supplies, despite the scale of the crisis. ”

In its annual procurement report released today, UNICEF said that by 2020 it had shipped more than 200 million medical masks, 195 million gloves, 5.7 million gowns, 3.3 million of COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests and 16,795 oxygen concentrators in 139 countries to support the pandemic. reply.

Despite the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, UNICEF’s regular work in purchasing and delivering supplies for children has not been interrupted. This included the delivery of more than 2 billion doses of vaccine to ensure maintenance of vital routine immunization programs, according to the report.

“Ingenuity and persistence were essential in meeting the many challenges as they arose,” said Etleva Kadilli, director of the UNICEF Supply Division. “From market shaping to storage, from tenders to transportation – never before have we worked with such speed, agility and scale across all aspects of the supply chain. “

UNICEF also continued to support complex emergencies, particularly in the central Sahel, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. In 2020, UNICEF procured US $ 682.5 million worth of emergency supplies, including for the pandemic response, for children and communities in 143 countries and territories, nearly double the 2019 figure.

The report also highlights UNICEF’s contribution to the COVAX facility, the global mechanism that promotes equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. So far in 2021, UNICEF has coordinated deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to 129 countries and territories.

Emphasizing the importance of cooperation with national and international partners, including the private sector, to achieve these results, the report highlights some key initiatives such as:

A historic joint charter with the World Economic Forum in which 18 airlines and logistics companies have committed to prioritizing the transport of COVID-19 vaccines purchased through the COVAX facility;

Lead a collaborative joint tender on behalf of 11 UN agencies and 2 international NGOs to establish Long Term Agreements (LTAs) for the purchase of quality personal protective equipment;

Convene the first-ever logistics industry consultation, to align stakeholders around a COVID-19 response strategy; Development of innovative transport solutions to ensure the delivery of vaccines for routine immunization in hard-to-reach areas.

UNICEF’s strategic use of purchasing power saved governments and donors $ 176 million in 2020, the report says.

More information on how UNICEF made a difference in the lives of children in 2019 can be found in the Annual Procurement Report 2020.

UNICEF’s long-term work for children around the world is made possible by its partners, supporters and donors. For more information on UNICEF’s work to provide access to life-saving commodities where they are needed most, visit UNICEF Supply Division.


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