FIA Foundation supports UNICEF and IFRC in COVID vaccination drive

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Photos copyright Shaarif Ali / UNICEF UK.
Photos copyright Shaarif Ali / UNICEF UK.

The FIA Foundation has made a €1 million donation to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through equitable distribution of vaccines.

The funding, made on behalf of the FIA and the FIA Foundation, is split equally between UNICEF and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as a charitable contribution to the pandemic response. The donation builds on previous FIA Foundation support for the COVID-19 response during 2020, which included funding to a range of delivery agencies, NGOs and universities for logistics, medical research, PPE production and community outreach.

The new funding will support the work of UNICEF, as the world’s leading organisation for children coordinates the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX Facility, the global mechanism to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries. ACT-A is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, working across three pillars – immunisation, therapeutics and diagnostics. The immunisation pillar includes purchase and provision of syringes, cold chain and PPE, as well as supporting freight and in-country logistics and providing information about the vaccines to maximise vaccination uptake.

As an element of its broader COVID-19 Appeal, in support of which the Foundation and the FIA together contributed almost €2m in 2020 as part of the FIA’s ‘Race Against COVID’ appeal, the IFRC is implementing a ‘five pillar’ approach to support the delivery of vaccines, including ensuring an enabling environment for trust in vaccines, with a particular focus on vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.

FIA Foundation Chairman Lord Robertson of Port Ellen said: “While this funding goes beyond the core focus of the Foundation, our board felt it was vitally important to demonstrate solidarity with the global effort to deliver COVID-19 vaccines rapidly and equitably to every part of the world.”

IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain said: “The FIA Foundation has provided an important contribution for IFRC to achieve its global plan to help vaccinate 500 million people against COVID-19. Vaccine doses alone are not enough, it’s vaccination that saves lives. The IFRC and its member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies play a key role in engaging and mobilizing communities, addressing vaccine hesitancy, and ensuring that people have access to vaccines. Our strong partnership with the FIA Foundation is a great expression of solidarity in these challenging times."

Steven Waugh, Interim Executive Director at The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) said: “The FIA Foundation’s support of UNICEF’s COVAX appeal is helping ensure rapid and equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines –irrespective of a country’s wealth. By supporting UNICEF, the FIA Foundation is helping the overall effort to procure and deliver three billion doses of life-saving vaccines for all 191 countries participating in the COVAX Facility, including those already facing humanitarian challenges. Thank you for standing by UNICEF to deliver the world’s largest vaccination campaign, in record time, and build a brighter future for the world’s children.”

Jean Todt, FIA President, said: “This donation by the FIA Foundation to IFRC and UNICEF on behalf of our family is an important further contribution to the ‘Race Against COVID’. Many of our Member Clubs across the world are supporting efforts to turn back the virus, including through collaboration with national societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. It is by working together that we will overcome the difficulties created by the current situation and build a brighter future for all.”