MIAMI – Etihad Cargo (EY) signs a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Etihad Cargo, a freight and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, has signed this MoU in support of its Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.

Under the MoU, Etihad Cargo will assist the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, vital drugs, healthcare equipment, and other essential supplies to deal with the pandemic. Originally, the UAE airline’s contribution will be focused on helping the world’s most vulnerable children retain routine UNICEF immunization programs.

Etihad Airways Boeing 787 | Photo: Miles Aronovitz/Airways

Comments from UNICEF, Etihad Aviation


“The delivery of these life-saving vaccines, in terms of the volumes that need to be carried, the requirement for the cold chain, the number of deliveries expected, and the diversity of route, is a monumental and complex undertaking,” said Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF Supply Division.

Martin Drew, the Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo for Etihad Aviation said, “Etihad Cargo had no hesitation in endorsing UNICEF’s far-reaching humanitarian programs to help children most at stake around the world.” He continued by saying that this partnership was in line with the dedication of the Etihad Aviation Group to “enhancing human health across Abu Dhabi and supports the international role of Abu Dhabi in promoting humanitarian aid to build a safer world.”

With comprehensive experience and expertise in secure and effective pharmaceutical logistics, Etihad Cargo will utilize its IATA CEIV-certified PharmaLife specialized pharmaceutical and healthcare product for the transportation of temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals, which is already providing a full supply chain solution under the membership of Abu Dhabi’s The HOPE Consortium to help the global supply chain.

During the past 12 months, Etihad Cargo has increased its pharmaceutical shipments by 50% through PharmaLife.

Etihad Airways Boeing 777 | Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways

The UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative


The UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative brings together global airlines serving routes to over 100 countries. This is done in support of the COVAX Facility- a global campaign aimed at ensuring equal access to COVID-19 vaccine.

According to UNICEF, COVAX deliveries and the subsequent vaccination of front-line workers will support health and social care systems to safely resume these critical services.

Etihad Cargo reports that the initiative will also act as a global logistics preparedness mechanism for other humanitarian and health crises in the longer term.

“We thank the airlines for joining forces with the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight to promote the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of the UNICEF Supply Division.


Featured Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways