Media Update: United Nations Pakistan, 12 February 2021

This Media Update includes: 

  • FAO - PRESS RELEASE : Consultation workshop held on draft Livestock Action Plan for Sindh to modernize livestock sector
  • UNICEF - PRESS RELEASE : UNICEF signs supply agreement for Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

FAO

PRESS RELEASE

Consultation workshop held on draft Livestock Action Plan for Sindh to modernize livestock sector

Hyderabad 12/02/2021: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department jointly held a public  consultation workshop to validate a proposed Livestock Action Plan for Sindh province, under the Sindh Agriculture Policy 2018-30. The Secretary, Livestock and Fisheries, Director General Livestock, Director General Sindh Animal Health Institute, and Director General Livestock Extension were among those leading the discussions aimed at prioritizing public spending on the sector.

FAO Pakistan, through the European Union-assisted Food Security and Nutrition Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) programme, is seeking to deepen the dialogue between different sectors with a stake in the food system. The FIRST policy assistance service is supporting evidence-based decision-making and analysis of proposed policy frameworks and action plans. In Sindh, FAO has helped build capacity of the government officials of the Livestock & Fisheries Department over 2019-2021 in formulating action plans for both the livestock and fisheries sectors, helping make the case for more targeted investment to meet modern requirements for quality, affordable food and stronger economic growth in the province, based on inclusive, climate-resilient production systems.

FAO Policy Officer, Ms. Genevieve Hussain, said that in Pakistan, the livestock sector is particularly important from a nutritional perspective. Fresh milk, meat and eggs are a traditional part of the diets of most communities in Sindh, but are often unaffordable to the poor, or not prioritized in household budgets. A ready supply of quality animal protein can make balanced eating habits possible, which helps provide the population with sufficient vitamins and minerals for better health, she informed.

Secretary Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar, said that the Government of Sindh is very keen, through the Sindh Agriculture Policy, to create an efficient, prosperous and resilient food production sector that can provide good incomes and decent employment for those involved in livestock and allied sectors. For effective implementation of a good Livestock Action Plan, both public and privately sourced investments will be critical to enable the sector to meet the demand for its products at national as well as international level, he added.

The draft Livestock Action Plan was discussed among the participants of the workshop and a session of group work was also organized to take views from the participants, who included representatives from the research, commercial and non-profit sectors. As a second step, the Action Plan will be presented before Sindh Agriculture Policy Implementation Commission (SAPIC) for approval later in 2021.

FAO Livestock Policy Specialist, Mr Khawar Parvez Awan, while presenting the proposed Livestock Action Plan, said research and innovation are the key to transform the livestock sector and realise its potential in Pakistan. Breed improvements and a preventative approach to animal health and disease management will both bring profitability gains, he said. 

Meanwhile, FAO has also collaborated with the Sindh Livestock & Fisheries Department to launch a new vaccination campaign in district Sanghar. A total of 50,000 cattle will be vaccinated against Foot and Mouth Disease, while 35,000 goats and sheep will receive medicine to prevent intestinal worms. The campaign was inaugurated by Deputy Director Livestock, Sanghar, Dr Easar Das. Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Director said, “We are greatly appreciative of the coordination and technical assistance of FAO to deliver this important preventative animal health care initiative”.

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UNICEF

PRESS RELEASE

UNICEF signs supply agreement for Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

NEW YORK, 12 February 2021: UNICEF announced today the signing of an agreement with Pfizer on behalf of the COVAX Facility for the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine through 2021. 

Deliveries of the vaccine are anticipated to start as early as the first quarter of 2021, once the countries that were allocated Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses in the COVAX allocation confirm that they are in full compliance with all of the requirements established by Pfizer/BioNTech and the COVAX Facility.

The goal of the COVAX Facility is to provide the world with the best chance at making safe, efficacious COVID-19 vaccines available and affordable to all countries world-wide regardless of income level. This supply agreement allows UNICEF to procure doses out of the up to 40 million doses that have been secured under the COVAX Facility’s Advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with Pfizer/BioNTech to be available throughout 2021.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which was the first to receive WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on 31 December 2020, requires ultra-cold chain storage. UNICEF has been working around the clock with partners to support governments to ensure the cold chain facilities are in place to store and distribute a variety of COVID-19 vaccines with different cold chain requirements. 

Today’s agreement is the second long-term supply agreement UNICEF has signed with a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer on behalf of the COVAX Facility. Just last week, UNICEF signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to access two vaccines through technology transfer from AstraZeneca and Novavax, subject to the approval of the vaccine by WHO.  

The COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF, aims to provide at least 2 billion doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, enabling participating economies to protect frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups. 

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About UNICEF  UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus. Find out more about UNICEF’s work on the COVID-19 vaccines here, or about UNICEF’s work on immunization here. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.  

 

About the COVAX Facility  COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world. www.who.int/initiatives/act-accelerator/covax. UNICEF, in collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, is leading efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX Facility 

 

Media contacts: 

Sabrina Sidhu, UNICEF New York, +1 917 4761537, ssidhu@unicef.org 

Anne Sophie Bonefeld, UNICEF Copenhagen, +45 24 69 46 76, abonefeld@unicef.org 

UN entities involved in this initiative
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund