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IRC calls for bold action around Blinken’s visit to Africa



IRC calls for bold action around Blinken’s visit to Africa

The increase in aid dollars to deal with the ripple effects of climate change, conflict and Covid is long overdue

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 19, 2021 / APO Group / –

As US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken continues his visit to Africa, the IRC calls on the United States and other wealthy countries to redouble their efforts to address the humanitarian emergencies unfolding on the continent, in particular in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sudan. While the United States has donated millions of vaccines to Africa, the supply of Covid-19 vaccines is not the only humanitarian concern. The triple emergency of Covid, conflict and climate change is taking its toll, while the amount of aid and humanitarian diplomacy devoted to these emergencies is grossly out of step with the realities and needs on the ground.

Amanda Catanzano, Acting Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, said: “Despite new vaccine donations and the Biden administration’s Covid pledges, more ambitious actions will be needed from states. -United and other donor governments to achieve 40% vaccine coverage against Covid by the end of 2021 and 70% by mid-2022 across Africa, particularly in fragile and conflictual contexts on the continent which are already being left behind. Frontline NGOs, which can reach where governments and health systems cannot, need faster and easier access to donor funding to help support vaccine delivery in the most difficult settings. to reach. Only five African countries, or less than 10% of the 54 African countries, are expected to achieve the 40% coverage target by year-end. At the current rate, Africa still faces a shortage of 275 million COVID-19 vaccines to meet this target.

“Climate-related events including locust infestations, droughts and extreme weather events are causing unprecedented needs on the continent. And while Covid vaccinations can help stem the virus, the impact of the pandemic on rising food prices and overloading health systems is worsening and requires broader solutions beyond donations from vaccines. In Kenya in particular, the health system was already overwhelmed and the pandemic was accompanied by worsening epidemics of malaria and cholera in Dadaab and Kakuma. Refugee families in Kakuma live together in small tents and makeshift houses and are confined together in small spaces without access to proper water, sanitation and hygiene, making conditions conducive to the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.

“The increase in aid dollars to deal with the ripple effects of climate change, conflict and Covid is long overdue. Donations of Covid vaccines are simply not enough to address ongoing humanitarian emergencies with multiple root causes. ”

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