U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Launches Health Care Task Force

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February 10, 2021

With the support of a critical mass of our health care provider and health care services-related members, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council announced the creation of a Health Care Task Force on February 10, 2021.  This task force will build on recent decisions by the new Biden Administration to begin working with global partners to more quickly mitigate the worst effects of COVID-19, including building new alliances designed to promote faster vaccine distribution. The United Arab Emirates is a world leader in COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution, and the country has distinguished itself by the generosity of its COVID-19 humanitarian assistance. In showing a commitment to distribute COVID-19 vaccine to low and middle-income countries through leveraging its strong logistical eco-system and geostrategic location, the U.A.E. will be a critical partner to new U.S. efforts aimed at COVID-19 relief, mitigation, and vaccination efforts. 
 
The Business Council Health Care Task Force will focus on supporting ​efforts by the U.S. and the U.A.E  governments in distributing relief and aid to countries suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as work to promote partnerships more broadly between the U.S. and the U.A.E. in various and related health verticals. Key member companies such as Cleveland Clinic, Children’s National Hospital, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Honeywell, and Abbott, have been at the forefront of the pandemic response, as they worked tirelessly to create COVID-19 response, vaccines, testing equipment, and related necessities to palliate the damage done by COVID-19.

Likewise, Emirati institutions, have proactively created the infrastructure not just to effectively respond to the COVID-19 crisis in the U.A.E. but to create a vaccine distribution mechanism that  supplies low and middle-income countries in the region and around the world with vaccines and other forms of aid. Leading Dubai entities including Emirates Airline and DP World launched the Vaccine Logistics Alliance, an initiative that aims to speed up vaccine distribution around the world. This initiative is in collaboration with International Humanitarian City, which is one of the world’s largest hubs for humanitarian logistics. ​Meanwhile, their Abu Dhabi counterparts – including the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, and Rafed (part of ADQ) – formed the Hope Consortium with the aim of delivering billions of vaccine doses around the world by the end of the year. With many forecasts stating that the world population may not be fully vaccinated until 2024, the U.A.E. has taken it upon itself to work with its partners, such as the U.S., to accelerate global inoculation delivery. 
 
The Business Council’s new Task Force will serve as a forum for informing and guiding our members towards expanded opportunity in these areas being highlighted by our two governments in the health care vertical. A webinar early next month featuring Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic and Co-Chairman of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, and His Excellency Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO of Mubadala and Co-Chairman of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, will formally inaugurate the launch of the Task Force. The webinar will address current models of successful health care cooperation between the U.S. and the U.A.E., and identify areas for further cooperation and preparedness in the face of future health challenges posed by COVID-19.

Over the course of 2021 ​and beyond, ​the work of the Business Council’s Health Care Task Force will be focused on the following areas:  

  • Create virtual, hybrid, and in-person discussion events with industry that features U.S. and U.A.E. officials who are leading the efforts to confront the pandemic, distribute vaccines, and combat other health issues.
  • Publish reports and studies that highlight the work that both countries are undertaking to distribute vaccines to low and middle-income countries, especially identifying opportunities for further cooperation and investment between U.S. and the U.A.E companies. 
  • Establish a forum for discussion of policy and regulatory matters that will streamline and enhance cooperation between the two countries in the areas of pandemic response and the broader health care vertical in the future. 
  • Monitor developments and opportunities for investment with companies that offer needed solutions to both ending the current pandemic and helping the preparedness of both countries for future global health challenges. 

Through cooperation and partnership, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council will utilize our diverse member base and platform to contribute to the joint U.S.-U.A.E. response to the pandemic and other global health challenges, while highlighting the multitude of opportunities that exist within the U.S. and U.A.E. to strengthen health care cooperation. 
 
For more information on this Business Council initiative, please contact Ameer Alsamman at aalsamman@usuaebusiness.org