Having completed its first year of operations, the HOPE Consortium has made significant progress in furthering the global community’s mission of achieving mass and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in all corners the world. With the help of its partners, the Abu Dhabi-led initiative has successfully delivered over 210 million vaccine doses to over 60 countries. The following major milestones, achieved over the course of the year, chart a journey of HOPE in which each deliverable took the organization one step further towards achieving success in such a short period of time. The key theme which made the milestones possible was partnerships, and the conviction that working together the global community can leverage its strengths to overcome the pandemic.
Bringing together industry-leading partners
Since its inception, the HOPE Consortium has worked to combine Abu Dhabi’s geographical position and strategic capabilities with the unique capacities of its industry-leading partners, creating one of the world’s largest end-to-end pharma supply chains capable of delivering millions of vaccines to two-thirds of the global population. Spearheaded by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the initiative began as a collaboration between Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Rafed, Maqta Gateway and SkyCell.
The initiative quickly gained global attention by successfully hosting the first World Immunisation and Logistics Summit in Abu Dhabi in March of 2021, bringing together over 4,000 senior decision makers, government officials, industry stakeholders, NGOs, and leading academics to discuss ways to coordinate
and overcome the monumental challenge of achieving mass global COVID-19 immunisation.
Within its first year in operation, the HOPE Consortium built partnerships with over 12 freight forwarding and logistics leaders, including Aramex, Bolloré Logistics, Agility, DB Schenker, DHL, FedEx Express, MICCO Logistics, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel, RSA Global, and UPS among others. Each partnership formed has helped diversify its network and expand its global reach.
Connecting the last mile in areas of need
Realising that vaccine delivery is often not enough, particularly in hard-to-reach areas and parts of the African continent, the partners added the in-country vaccination services to help accelerate global immunisation and minimise vaccine wastage. The combined service, made possible through a partnership with Via Medica International Healthcare, enables countries and communities with limited medical and logistical capacities to inoculate their populations quickly and efficiently, making sure that a vaccine delivered is a vaccine administered.
The partnership’s outreach to the African region was further supported by Etihad Cargo’s expansion of its pharma network and partnerships signed with Astral Aviation and Kenya Airways to ensure equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines through airfreight solutions on the African continent.
Building future capabilities and preparednes
Recognising the need to establish cold chain capabilities within the African continent in order to ensure that no community gets left behind, the HOPE Consortium and UNICEF collaborated to deliver 65 ultra-cold freezers to 21 African nations. The freezers will enable these nations to efficiently absorb incoming Pfizer vaccine supplies, which require specialised ultra-cold storage , and support the roll- out of effective immunisation programmes across the continent.
In anticipation of the year to come, the HOPE Consortium is also working closely with key partners in Belgium, as a leading global pharmaceutical hub, to help establish a fully compliant origin-to-destination pharma distribution corridor to serve the world in vaccine delivery and future life science needs. The collaboration will continue to build on the capabilities of Abu Dhabi as a leading life sciences hub and further our logistics and pharmacare sectors’ capabilities to serve the region and the world, especially in times of need.
Looking back at what has been a banner inaugural year for the HOPE Consortium, the key ingredient that has made its successes to date possible has been the strength and commitment of its partners, united behind the cause of helping the global community overcome what has been one of the greatest health and logistics challenges in recent history.
Leveraging the collective capabilities of all partners involved and deploying the latest in technology and , science to roll out an effective global vaccine distribution mission, there is much to be proud of. However, with most of the world still waiting to be fully vaccinated, the work is not yet done.
The partners look forward to another year of fostering collaboration and innovative solutions to help bring an end to the pandemic and chart a bright future