UPU: We want to make sure that wherever possible the postal sector can help with vaccine distribution
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is launching Post4Health designed to catalyse the ability of Posts to help deliver COVID-19 vaccines and position the sector as an actor in global and national public health policies. The facility supports the engagement of Posts in the immediate vaccine response, as well as in COVID-19 related awareness, outreach and advocacy campaigns.
The facility will leverage a global postal network of 192 countries, around 650,000 postal facilities and more than 5 million employees. A network driven by the Universal Service Obligation calling on designated posts in each country to deliver to everyone.
Speaking about the new facility, the UPU’s Deputy Director General, Pascal Clivaz, said: “We are in a race to vaccinate the world. As one of the world’s largest networks, the international postal sector has the logistical capacity to reach every single community. This is why we see the sector as a vital partner in the COVID-19 vaccine response. It delivers to the world every single day.”
Using the facility, the UPU’s objective is to assist Posts where needed to acquire essential equipment to transport both vaccines and related medical goods, such as syringes and personal protective equipmen.t At present, the majority of Posts do not have the ability to provide ultra-cold chain logistics required by some vaccines. Post4Health will focus on cold chain logistics and meet the needs of other vaccines as they enter the market.
The facility is supported by initial contributions from La Poste Group (France) and Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. To ensure close coordination and cooperation, the UPU will work closely with its UN partners on the global COVID-19 response.
Commenting on Post4Health’s long term goals, the UPU’s Coordinator for Resource Mobilization and Stakeholder Engagement, Olivier Boussard said, “We want to make sure that wherever possible the postal sector can help with vaccine distribution and build the capacity of Posts to deliver health products and health services beyond the Covid-19 vaccine distribution challenge.”
The Universal Postal Union is a UN specialized agency with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. Established in 1874, it is one of the world’s oldest international organizations and is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.