UN agencies launch Tech Access Partnership in a joint effort to scale up local production of life-saving health technologies for COVID-19

The Tech Access Partnership (TAP) is a new initiative kicked off by the UN Technology Bank in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is part of a co-ordinated approach to strengthen developing countries’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and increase access to lifesaving health technologies. The partnership aims at three key objectives: (a) Product information; a digital warehouse of manufacturing and design specifications, technical knowledge and information required to increase capacity. (b) Technical guidance; a lifeline of technical support to help manufacturers troubleshoot issues they may encounter as they seek to ramp up production, including information on market dynamics and regulatory hurdles, (c) Partnerships; a platform to match companies based on expertise, needs, and capacity. As explained by the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed: ‘Now, more than ever, the global community needs to unite to save lives and secure sustainable futures. Inequalities are exacerbating the technology and digital divide when it comes to opportunities for youth, creating a divide that threatens to leave them behind. Increasing access to necessary technologies through partnerships, is a crucial component of the United Nations’ COVID-19 health, humanitarian and socio-economic response’.