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Qatar Red Crescent to launch global refugee vaccination project

The Qatar Red Crescent has announced it will launch a $100m humanitarian initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccines to refugees, displaced persons and migrants around the world.

The campaign, scheduled to start on Monday, will run for three years and aims to cover 20 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Following a motto of “Leave no one behind”, the Qatar Red Crescent will implement the initiative in cooperation with the World Health Organization.

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

The objectives of the initiative include inoculation of “3,650,000 of the most vulnerable people in refugee, internally displaced and migrant communities” against COVID-19, as well as promotion and encouragement of the vaccination.

Target groups will also include the elderly, those with chronic diseases and humanitarian workers.

The project intends to provide the highest number of vaccines for displaced people and refugees in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, northern Syria, the occupied Palestinian territories and Yemen – with 400,000 inoculations planned in each country.

Lebanon, which has the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world, is also included in the campaign, and is expected to receive inoculations for 150,000 people.

This week, Human Rights Watch said only 18 percent of Palestinian refugees and 17 percent of Syrian refugees eligible for vaccines have gotten their shots in Lebanon.

Many cited either a lack of information about vaccine access or fear of security measures as a reason for not registering to get the vaccine.

By comparison, 24 percent of registered Lebanese have been vaccinated amid shortages in the jabs.

The Qatari branch of the Red Crescent was established in 1978. It gained international recognition from the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva in 1981 and joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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