6 September 2020 – As part of its assistance to the Government of Bangladesh’s COVID-19 response, UNICEF has been procuring lifesaving supplies – including personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment – for a value of £9.24 million (US$12.28 million) over the last 6 months.
“High-quality PPE is critical for the protection of health workers who are at the frontline of the pandemic response, while the medical equipment is essential for the lifesaving care of COVID-19 patients,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Country Representative in Bangladesh.
As a global crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has been posing historically unprecedented challenges to the procurement and delivery of essential medical supplies and equipment all over the world including in Bangladesh. They include acute shortages of the concerned supplies and equipment, substantial price hikes and the disruption of the international freight system. Despite these challenges, PPE items worth £5.48 million (US$7.28 million) have been ordered under the Government of Bangladesh-UNICEF programme of cooperation including N95 masks, surgical masks and coveralls for health workers. Medical equipment ordered is valued at £3.76 million (US$5 million) and includes oxygen concentrators, ventilators and pulse oximeters among others for the lifesaving therapy of COVID-19 patients. Of the supplies ordered so far, £5.12 million (US$6.8 million) worth of PPE items and £1.58 million (US$2.1 million) worth of medical supplies have been delivered to date.
The COVID-19 supplies procured by UNICEF are sourced both locally and offshore based on the requests by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). They are delivered to the Central Medical Stores Depot of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Services (MoHFW) for further distribution across the country.
“As a trusted partner to the Government of Bangladesh and with unique expertise in the procurement of high-quality medical supplies, UNICEF’s delivery of the PPE and medical equipment is an important contribution to the country’s pandemic response efforts,” said Professor ABM Khurshid Alam, Director General of the DGHS.
UNICEF’s procurement process is based on fairness, integrity and transparency. Its global Supply Division in Copenhagen, Denmark, ensures that international standards are met in the procurement process of all goods. UNICEF’s large-scale supply operation gives it the economies of scale and guarantees value for money as the concerned items are procured at competitive prices in large quantities. UNICEF also gives the utmost importance to quality assurance of the products it procures. All medical supplies procured by UNICEF meet WHO standards and the quality specifications set out by the MoHFW. There are both internal and external oversight mechanisms of UNICEF’s supply operations including a third party audit.
As a non-profit organization, UNICEF does not make a profit from procurement services. Any balance in transaction is refunded to the concerned government counterparts and development partners or can be used for the new procurement transactions with them depending on their decision.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase globally including in Bangladesh, UNICEF is committed to providing continuously strong support to Bangladesh for the national response to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
UNICEF’s procurement of COVID-19-related supplies has been supported by generous contributions from the Asian Development Bank, the Global Fund, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the World Bank. Further, donors which have been generously supporting other critical components of UNICEF’s COVID-19 response include Australia, Canada, the European Union, Germany, the Global Partnership for Education, Switzerland and the United States in addition to the above-mentioned donors.
Notes to the editor:
The COVID-19 response in Cox’s Bazar District is led by the Health Sector under the leadership of the Civil Surgeon’s Office and the World Health Organization.
The humanitarian community is collaborating closely with the Government of Bangladesh to establish a total of 17 SARI ITCs in Cox’s Bazar District to serve both Rohingya refugees and local communities. The SARI ITCs are supported and run by IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, Food for the Hungry/Medical Teams International (FH/MTI), the Hope Foundation, icddr,b, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Red Cross, Relief International, Medecine Sans Frontieres and Save the Children. Thirteen centres are already operational.
About Save Generation Covid:
- The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest and most urgent global crisis children have faced since World War Two.
- Children’s lives are being upended. Their support systems ripped away, their borders closed, their educations lost, their food supply cut off.
- An additional 6,000 children around the world could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months as the coronavirus pandemic weakens health systems and disrupts routine services like vaccinations. That’s one every 15 seconds.
- UNICEF’s “Save Generation Covid” appeal is the largest ever for children in our 73-year history, and we urgently need funds for lifesaving support and services to ensure that children survive this crisis – and thrive beyond it.
- Together we can Save Generation Covid. Visit unicef.uk/donate-generationcovid to donate and help save #generationcovid.
For more information, please contact:
Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK.
For more information please visit unicef.org.uk