UNICEF: access to COVID-19 supplies

In July 2020, we announced support for UNICEF to secure vital COVID-19 medical supplies for low- and middle-income countries, including diagnostic tests and clinical management supplies.

The partnership

Our partnership with UNICEF is supporting the global children’s charity to increase and accelerate procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies on behalf of low- and middle-income countries.

  • MedAccess has provided an procurement guarantee of up to $50 million to UNICEF.
  • UNICEF is using the guarantee to support its high-volume purchasing orders with manufacturers to respond to country demand for medical supplies and diagnostic tests at affordable prices.

As one of the world’s largest volume procurers of medical products, UNICEF secures sustainable supply at lower prices. This means low- and middle-income countries that use UNICEF’s procurement mechanisms are less exposed to volatile prices and shortages of COVID-19 supplies.

In March 2021, we announced a one-year extension to our guarantee for UNICEF.

Checking a baby's temperature

Development impact

Our partnership enables UNICEF to increase and accelerate procurement of vital COVID-19 medical supplies on behalf of low- and middle income countries.

Since the start of the pandemic, UNICEF had purchased more than 250 million items of clinical management supplies, 16.9 million N95 respirators, 5.4 million molecular diagnostic test kits and almost 18,000 oxygen concentrators on behalf of countries.

UNICEF has also purchased more than 500 million auto-disable syringes for use in the global rollout of vaccines through the COVAX facility.

Read more about UNICEF’s COVID-19 procurement.

The products

UNICEF plays a unique and important role in the procurement of medical supplies on behalf of low- and middle-income countries and our guarantee is helping it to achieve its mission.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, UNICEF has procured more than a quarter of a billion items, including oxygen, respirators and diagnostic tests, to help countries protect their people.

Read more about UNICEF’s COVID-19 procurement.

Why we acted

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold around the world, experts predicted that South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa would see more than 220 million COVID-19 infections. Healthcare workers in both regions reported acute shortages of medical supplies to treat patients as the pandemic spread.

Demand for COVID-19 medical supplies in low- and middle-income countries is expected to significantly outstrip supply during 2020. Countries whose health systems were already weaker before COVID-19 are bearing the brunt of supply shortages, making it more difficult for health workers to protect citizens.