NGOs and humanitarian advocates are insisting that the coronavirus vaccines should be provided to the millions of refugees and people forced to leave their homes because of the pandemic.
The number of infections is rapidly rising in the Middle East, however many countries are unable to effectively cater to those infected because they do not have enough medical resources.
The media reports show that developing countries are concerned about administering coronavirus vaccines – being used in the US and the UK – to their citizens. The situation is especially critical in war-trodden Iraq and Syria, home to millions of refugees.
Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General has urged that the vaccine should be globally available to everyone. He added further that rich countries should donate a part of their coronavirus vaccines to vulnerable communities as humanitarian aid.
However, the developed countries have objected to this approach, saying that if distribution to the developing countries fails, half of the world will have no vaccination available to them for three more years.
The World Health Organization has taken the initiative to distribute the vaccines to poor countries in order to vaccinate 2 billion people by the end of this year. However, senior UN officials believe this will not be achievable unless they have more resources and political support.
The UNHCR, responsible for helping refugees, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has also insisted that the international community incorporate refugees and migrants in their vaccine distribution drive.
The Director of IOM expressed that even though healthcare is a basic human need, often the most vulnerable communities such as migrants, refugees, and forcibly displaced people, are overlooked.
He resolved to provide all the support to governments. He reiterated that people should not be discriminated against based on their nationality.