World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

91 Countries Now Offer COVID-19 Vaccinations To Refugees, Says UNHCR

UN refugee agency UNHCR, on Thursday welcomed the growing number of countries that have offered COVID-19 vaccines to refugees before urging others to do the same.

“Beyond the moral imperative, this is in our collective self-interest”, said Ann Burton, Chief of UNHCR’s Public Health Section. “As long as the pandemic remains out of control somewhere, it is threat for everyone everywhere.”

To date, refugees and asylum-seekers have begun receiving vaccinations in 91 of the 162 countries that UNHCR has been monitoring.

But it warned that countries should do more to remove barriers that limit access to vaccines for the world’s 82.4 million forcibly displaced people.

Sub-Saharan obstacle

This includes Sub-Saharan Africa - where newly reported COVID-19 cases are on the rise – and where many vaccination sites are located far from where refugees live. Some countries also require people to register for vaccines using an identity document which many refugees do not have.

Other States have set up online vaccine registration systems that can deter or prevent people without access to the internet, or those who are not computer literate.

Highlighting positive steps by many countries, UNHCR noted that Moldova and Serbia had delivered the vaccine to asylum centres, while Senegal and Cameroon had allowed refugees to register in designated centres near their communities.

Proactive Portugal

Portugal had also introduced a specific registration system for undocumented people to ensure that no one is excluded from the national vaccine roll-out, the UN agency said.

“Around the world, we have seen an unwavering commitment to not leave refugees behind in COVID-19 vaccination planning”, said Ms. Burton. “But barriers to vaccination persist. Stronger efforts are needed to ensure that States’ assurances for refugee inclusion turn into tangible reality.”

UNHCR said in a statement that it stands ready to work with all States to ensure that at least 20 per cent of refugees are vaccinated by the end of 2021, as per the target set by the UN-partnered COVAX equitable vaccination initiative.

The UN agency also urged States to share their surplus vaccine doses with lower and middle-income countries and to support the COVAX facility, which is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT) global cooperative.

The aim of ACT is to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, to every country in the world

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Afghanistan: Record Number Of Women And Children Killed Or Wounded

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday... More>>

Tale Of Two Pandemics: Follow The Science And Do Not Forget One At The Cost Of The Other

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV... More>>


UN: Rights Chief Calls For Prompt Release Of Protestors Held In Cuba
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called for the prompt release of protestors and journalists detained during anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, some of whom are being held incommunicado... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs



Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>


UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>