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March 28, 2020 Saturday 12:36:00 PM IST

COVID-19: UNICEF continues to ship vital supplies to affected countries

Policy Indications

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, UNICEF is procuring and shipping vital supplies, including desperately required personal protective equipment (PPE), to countries affected.

UNICEF is engaged with approximately 1,000 suppliers and industry leaders across the world, to find a solution to current market constraints. Despite the extreme market conditions, including aggressive buying and emerging export restrictions, UNICEF has managed to secure availability from April to June from suppliers for key products, such as 26.9 million surgical masks, 4.8 million respirators, 6 million coveralls, 7.1 million surgical gowns, 1.5 million goggles, and 29,000 infrared thermometers.

Since the start of the outbreak, UNICEF has shipped more than 4.27 million gloves, 573,300 surgical masks, 98,931 N95 respirators, 156,557 gowns and 12,750 goggles in support of countries as they respond to the pandemic.

Recent shipments have included:


UNICEF has delivered around US$3 million worth of hospital equipment and personal protective equipment to Hubei Province and other regions in China to aid the Government response there to COVID-19. Supplies included defibrillators, electrocardiogram monitors, portable ultrasound systems, infusion pumps, N95 masks, gowns goggles, protective suits, and gloves.

Since 1 March, three shipments – weighing around 8 metric tons - of PPE supplies have successfully arrived in Tehran, Iran. Supplies have been distributed to hospitals and health facilities in six most affected provinces, with 18.5 tons of PPE items expected to arrive in the country over the coming days.

This week, UNICEF successfully shipped 14 metric tons of PPE items to Pakistan to protect frontline health workers including 114,300 surgical masks, 12,681 gowns and 449,868 gloves. 

Other shipments in the pipeline include PPE to D.P.R of Korea, Eritrea, Indonesia, Palestine and Venezuela and oxygen concentrators to South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.


The speed and scale of how the outbreak is spreading around the world are increasing pressure on markets and bringing unprecedented challenges to UNICEF supply operations.

To address these challenges, UNICEF is reviewing global cargo aircraft capacity and coverage and is working with our offices around the world, freight forwarders and partner organisations to prioritise shipments and arrange charter operations as required for delivery of emergency and critical supplies. UNICEF has also taken preventive measures by decentralising some of its critical stocks, moving supplies including Emergency Kits and other essential relief supplies from Copenhagen to the hubs in Dubai, Panama, and Accra, with similar arrangements being organised for the Eastern and Southern Africa region.


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