The WHO denounces that some rich countries are “undermining” the initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines
The director of the World Health Organization has denounced that rich countries’ bilateral contracts with COVID19 vaccine manufacturers are undermining their equitable distribution around the world.
Dr. Tedros Adhanon Gebreyesus assured that even if they manage to finance the COVAX initiative, the mechanism that the WHO has provided for that equitable distribution, they will only be able to bring the vaccines to the poorest countries if the rich nations “cooperate and respect” the agreements.
“Currently, some rich countries are signing contracts with vaccine manufacturers that undermine the agreements that COVAX has in force and that they reduce the number of doses that COVAX can buy ”.
Tedros repeated that it is not a question of charity, but of epidemiology, since it will be impossible to end the pandemic if everyone is not vaccinated. Therefore, he said that all countries are interested in health workers and other risk groups around the world being the first to receive the vaccine.
“To achieve this, we need more funds, that countries share doses immediately and that manufacturers prioritize contracts with COVAX. We also need a significant increase in vaccine production “, he stressed.
The G7 countries have pledged $ 4.3 billion for the COVAX initiative and France announced that it will immediately donate 5% of its doses. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a counselor to the president of the United States, said his country is also considering donating doses.
The impact of the pandemic can “shake the foundations” of society
The social impact of the pandemic “has only begun“And can shake” the very foundations of our societies, “warned Michelle Bachelet before the Human Rights Council
The High Commissioner warned that the pandemic will result in “greater extreme poverty, more inequality, a decline in women’s rights and a reduction in educational opportunities for the youngest.”
The social response to the pandemic, he said, must respect human rights and generate trust in the population, which is founded “on a free press and effective democratic institutions.”
“I think we are all aware that the use of force will not end this pandemic. Sending critics to jail will not end this pandemic. Illegitimate restrictions on public freedoms, the excess of emergency powers, and the unnecessary or excessive use of force are not only useless and unprincipled. They prevent public participation in decision-making, which is the basis for sound policy making.
An attack on a UN convoy leaves three fatalities
ONU / Sylvain Liechti
An attack on a convoy of the World Food Program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed three people, including the Italian ambassador to the country.
The delegation was traveling from Goma to visit a school feeding program in North Kivu, in the east of the country.
The three fatalities have been identified as the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luca Attanasio, an official from the Italian embassy and a driver from the UN agency.
According to a statement from the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, the official and the driver were killed during the attack. Ambassador Attanasio received emergency care at the MONUSCO hospital in Goma where he succumbed to his injuries.
Several passengers traveling with the delegation were injured during the attack.
The World Food Program has assured in a statement that it will work with national authorities to determine the details of the attack, which occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts.
UNICEF condemns the death of a child in the crackdown on protests in Myanmar
Unsplash / Alexander Schimmeck
UNICEF has condemned the use of force against protesters in Myanmar who left two fatalities on Saturday, including a child.
In a statement, the Children’s Fund claims to be “deeply concerned” by reports of the use of excessive and lethal force during ongoing protests in Myanmar, and by warnings from the military that there would be “loss of life” in case of confrontation.
“UNICEF condemns the use of force against protesters, including the use of live ammunition ”, and asks “to protect children and young people” who even “express their opinions and participate in peaceful protests.”