COVID vaccines must be accessible ‘without discrimination’: UAE minister


Ensuring “equitable and sustainable access” to “vaccines and treatments for all without discrimination”, is a crucial step in curbing the spread of COVID-19, highlighted UAE’s Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy.

The country’s Minister of State for International Cooperation was addressing the virtual COVID-19 Global Action Plan Foreign Ministerial meeting.

“The United Arab Emirates, upon the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is determined to continue to support international humanitarian action to provide a coordinated and comprehensive health solution to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

“This could be achieved by strengthening the global health system, and ensuring equitable and sustainable access to safe and effective vaccines and treatments for all without discrimination.”

Organised by Japan and the United States, the meeting saw the participation of more than 30 countries and a number of specialist international organisations as they looked at mechanisms for the global distribution of vaccines, and the enhancement of supply chains.

The support and protection of health care workers, and strengthening the global health security architecture were also on the agenda.

Al Hashimy underscored that “the UAE was one of the first countries to extend a helping hand to confront the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, placing numerous initiatives in motion, and sending thousands of tonnes of medical aid, including vaccines, personal protection equipment, ventilators and tests to nearly 140 countries.

“Moreover, the UAE built and equipped field hospitals in nine countries including Palestine – Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.”

She reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to continue working with the international community, pledging in May 2022 to provide an additional $60 million, noting that the UAE is looking forward to working closely with the World Bank’s Financial Intermediary Fund to provide vaccines in a sustainable manner.

Al Hashimy further highlighted how “the UAE was able, through its strong infrastructure, location and huge logistical capabilities, to meet these challenges and transport more than 1.3 billion doses of vaccines to countries in need”.

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