Charity group accuses global community of failing Yemen on vaccines


Oxfam has accused the international community of failing to live up to its promises to help the people of Yemen.

Despite promises that Covax, the global initiative to deliver vaccines, would distribute vaccination coverage in all member countries by the end of this year, less than 1% of Yemenis have so far received one dose, the charity Oxfam said.

Yemenis are battling a third wave of Covid-19, which threatens 99% of the population who are unvaccinated, Oxfam said as the recorded cases of Covid-19 have tripled and the death rate has risen by more than fivefold in the last month.

It says the figures do not include undiagnosed deaths of people in their homes, due to the scarcity of tests and hospital beds, or deaths in the country’s north west, where health authorities controlled by the rebel Houthi movement do not release coronavirus-related data.

Oxfam says Covax, the global scheme to deliver vaccines to poorer countries, has so far delivered just 12% of the 4.2 million doses it has promised Yemen.

Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam’s country director for Yemen, accused the UK and Germany of continuing to block proposals to share vaccine technology to enable manufacturers in developing countries to make more of their own.

“Protecting lives should be more important than protecting the outsized profits of pharmaceutical corporations who have already made billions from this crisis,” he said.

According to the UN two out of three Yemenis lack access to healthcare services. Seven years on from the start of the conflict, only an estimated half of healthcare facilities are still operating. (Source: BBC)