£1.5 million in Scottish Government funds for UNICEF.
The United Nations children’s organisation UNICEF is to receive £1.5 million from the Scottish Government to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in three African countries.
The funds will support both the COVID-19 vaccination programmes and strengthening of the health systems in Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi, through the provision of equipment, resources and technical support in response to the pandemic.
The funding will support the identified priority of delivery of at least 6.5 million vaccine syringes in Rwanda, to ensure that sufficient vaccination equipment is available so that doses arriving are able to be utilised as quickly as possible.
In Malawi and Zambia, UNICEF will also work to provide information about, and build confidence and acceptance of, the COVID-19 vaccines at community level– a vital part of the programme which could reach ten million people in total.
The funding will also help to strengthen Malawi and Zambia’s national health systems through the provision of oxygen supplies, procuring oxygen generation plants and strengthening vaccine storage infrastructure – initiatives that will create a sustained impact for both the COVID-19 response, the routine immunisation programme and the treatment of respiratory illnesses for years to come.