UK aid and Unilever reach one billion people with global hygiene campaign to tackle Covid-19

  • The world’s largest hygiene campaign aimed at tackling the spread of Covid-19 has reached one billion people.
  • The UK Government and Unilever partnered to provide soap, sanitiser and surface disinfectants to developing countries, where there is little or no sanitation.
  • This comes as the UK-backed COVAX scheme reaches deliveries of vaccines to 100 countries and territories.

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.