The United Arab Emirates has stressed the importance of international cooperation in accelerating the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The country has followed a cooperative approach based on the spirit of collaboration, and adopted an integrated system for vaccine production and distribution, which it believes is key to meeting targets to boost global immunity.
This came during the participation of Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, in the first meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation hosted by China under the chairmanship of Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister. Held via video conference and with participation of representatives from over 20 countries, the forum aims to link countries that develop and produce vaccines with companies and stakeholders in order to promote the equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide.
Al Hashemy conveyed that the UAE has been at the forefront of global efforts to combat the pandemic in solidarity with the international community. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the UAE continues to disburse urgent medical supplies globally to support the efforts of various nations to contain the pandemic. To date, the UAE has dispatched over 2,200 tonnes of medical supplies to more than 135 countries, particularly throughout Africa and Asia. The UAE also plays a major role as a logistical center in the fight against COVID-19, through the Dubai-based International Humanitarian City, which played an integral role in shipping 80 percent of total global medical supplies and preventative equipment in response to the pandemic.
Furthermore, the UAE has supported the establishment of fully-equipped field hospitals (Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Field Hospitals) in Jordan, Guinea-Conakry, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and most recently in Mauritania. These hospitals have contributed to increasing the capacity of health authorities in containing COVID-19.
Al Hashemy added that in parallel, the UAE has utilized its advanced logistical capabilities and transportation facilities and services to help expedite the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines around the world, including through storage and handling facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in close cooperation with Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines, thereby geographically covering nearly 3.6 billion people around the world.
Speaking highly on the Hope Consortium initiative, Reem Al Hashemy expressed that it has provided nearly 65 million vaccine doses to 40 countries since its launch by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2020. The Hope Consortium is one of the largest and most integrated logistical solutions to provide vaccines to the global community. More recently, the UAE has also announced an in-kind donation of USD 50 million to the COVAX initiative to facilitate vaccine transport and delivery around the world.
She also referred to the recent collaboration with China to host the first COVID-19 vaccine production project in the UAE “Hayat Vax”; an advantage added to international efforts facing the COVID-19 crisis.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation