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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Qatar launches major Covid-19 vaccination drive for refugees worldwide


The Gulf state will be joining countries who vaccinated refugees, including Jordan and Nepal.

Qatar has announced a major $100 million initiative to vaccinate more than three million refugees and displaced people in 20 countries around the world.

The Qatar Red Crescent [QRCS] initiative, titled “I Am Vaccinated, I Donated”, kicked off on Monday in collaboration with the World Health Organization and is scheduled to run for three years, covering 20 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“Implementation will be carried out through the World Health Organization, according to the procedures adopted in each country, in coordination with the concerned authorities,” said QRCS in a statement.

Up to 3,650,000 of vulnerable populations, including internally displaced people and migrant communities will be vaccinated as part of the campaign.

Some of the countries listed by QRCS were Afghanistan, Bangladesh, northern Syria, occupied Palestinian territories, and Yemen. Each country will be receiving 400,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Due to the high number of displaced people in Lebanon, which hosts more than one million Syrian refugees, 150,000 of the targeted populations will be inoculated.

The elderly, those with chronic diseases and humanitarian workers are among the targeted groups of the campaign.

Several other countries have launched inoculation drives for refugees since vaccines became formally authorised.

Read also: Israel’s rejection of ICC probe reflects guilt: analyst

In Jordan, the world’s first ever vaccination centre was set up at the Zaatari Camp in January.

Then in March, Nepal was the first country in Asia Pacific to vaccinate refugees over the age of 65.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], the global forced displacement rate has surpassed at least 80 million in mid-2020, of which 4.2 million are asylum seekers, and 26.3 million are refugees.

There are also up to 45.7 million internally displaced people as of the end of 2019.

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