One billion people in developing countries have now been reached with advice, hygiene products and access to handwashing facilities in a campaign launched between the UK government and British business Unilever to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Working through the UN, charities and other partners, the campaign has:
- Trained 140,000 staff, including community health workers and teachers, to deliver hygiene skills, including deep cleaning of public buildings and effective handwashing.
- Installed over 500,000 handwashing stations around the world, including in Bangladesh, as well as health care facilities in Iraq.
- Run information campaigns across TV, radio and social media in 37 countries to increase understanding of the benefits of handwashing with soap regularly and disinfecting surfaces to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These campaigns have also reached refugees living in some of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, such as South Sudan and Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
- Delivered 75 million Unilever hygiene products, more than three times the original target, to 60 countries, covering South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East. These have been donated by Unilever’s leading hygiene brands, including Lifebuoy and Domestos.
The UK has been leading the international response to the Covid-19 pandemic, helping to develop and distribute vaccines support the global economy and bolster health systems around the world. As one of the largest donors to the COVAX AMC, the UK is also helping stop the spread of the disease through global vaccinations. The scheme has reached 100 countries so far.
The Prime Minister has also confirmed the UK will share the majority of any future surplus coronavirus vaccines from our supply with the COVAX procurement pool to support developing countries.
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister Wendy Morton said:
As well as the UK Government and Unilever, the campaign, funded by UK aid and Unilever, is also supported by experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and 21 partners including UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees who are helping governments around the world on their own Covid-19 responses.
Charities and international organisations have developed new tools to communicate how Covid-19 is spread. Population Services International developed a WhatsApp chatbot to send new training to health workers while remaining socially-distanced and safe.
Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer at Unilever, said:
Robert Dreibelbis, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: