UNICEF exceeded its savings target on medical supplies and services by over 35% through strategic procurement in 2019.
In its annual supply report, UNICEF revealed it had achieved over $363m in savings for its donors and partners across a range of medical supplies and products in 2019.
Strategic procurement, price and information transparency, special contracting terms, multi-year arrangements, and partner collaborations such as joint forecasting and coordinated procurement were critical to achieving savings, UNICEF said.
The charity’s procurement of medical supplies and services, such as construction and logisitics, reached a record level of over $3.8bn, representing an almost 10% increase from 2018. Over a third of the total procurement was vaccines, at nearly $1.7bn, accounting for 2.43bn doses in nearly 100 countries.
UNICEF detailed how it had scaled up its supply and logistics operations to meet need, including harnessing technology and streamlining supply operations.
One of the focuses was investment in new and improved cold chain equipment for vaccines. “By the end of 2019, over 20,000 units had been installed in health centres, with nearly 20,000 additional units in process of delivery,” it said.
Other projects included a mobile phone app that uses real-time data to facilitate faster delivery and improved management of supplies and the recycling of steel from end-of-life ships to build longer-lasting, quality learning centres for refugee children in Bangladesh.
Etleva Kadilli, director of the UNICEF supply and procurement headquarters, said: “Our collaboration with national governments, partners and the private sector is vital to our efforts to reach children with the supplies they need.
“Through our global reach and innovative approaches, we leverage our purchasing power and achieve significant savings for governments and donors. As we work together to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, this approach becomes even more important to maximise each dollar spent so that regular programmes can be maintained, as countries also scale up Covid-19 response efforts.”
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