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UNICEF signs up Dubai's DP World to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines

DUBAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF signed a partnership deal with DP World on Wednesday for the Dubai-based logistics firm to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

State-owned DP World, known for its global port operations, will provide transport and storage to UNICEF at no cost, helping low and middle-income countries access vaccines, a joint statement said.

DP World has a presence across emerging markets, including in Africa and Asia, and its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai is the Middle East’s biggest transhipment hub.

The partnership will support UNICEF’s role in procuring and supplying 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and immunisation supplies as part of COVAX, a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan with the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVAX aims to deliver 2.3. billion doses by the end of this year, including 1.8 billion to lower income countries at no cost to their governments, Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI alliance that co-leads COVAX, said on Tuesday.

UNICEF and DP World also agreed to work together on other issues such as education, health, women’s empowerment and water and sanitation, their statement said. (Writing by Alexander Cornwell. Editing by Mark Potter)

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