USA sends over 1.5 million Pfizer Covid-19 doses to war raged Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA – The Embassy of the United States in Ethiopia is pleased to announce the arrival of 1,552,590 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which the U.S is sharing with Ethiopia through COVAX.

The U.S. is sharing these doses safely, equitably, with no political strings attached, and with the singular objective of saving lives.

This new donation brings the total number of COVID-19 vaccines provided to Ethiopia by the U.S. to around four million doses since July 2021.

The Pfizer doses arrived at the Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency on October 27th, via COVAX.  It is the largest donation of vaccine doses from a single country to Ethiopia, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are honored to announce this additional donation of life-saving COVID-19 vaccine to the Ethiopian people. With this donation, the United States has shared around four million doses with Ethiopia so far. Our aim is to save lives and reduce suffering.  As Ethiopia’s closest partner in public health, we continue to stand with you against this devastating pandemic,” said Ambassador Geeta Pasi.

Safe and effective vaccines are our best tool to end the pandemic, and the United States has committed to purchasing and donating 1.1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses in partnership with COVAX.

To date, the United States has delivered more than 220 million doses of vaccine to more than 100 countries.

The United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home. We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic,” President Biden.

The donation of vaccines follows closely on a donation made by the UAE, where they donated ambulances to Ethiopia to support the health sector.

The Emirates Red Crescent also delivered food and medical supplies to Ethiopia, where regions including Tigray have been hit by conflict and a humanitarian crisis.

Fahd bin Sultan, deputy secretary-general at ERC, said the UAE attaches great importance to advancing the humanitarian and developmental conditions in Ethiopia, and is always working to support and improve them.

Despite battling the pandemic, the East African country is also facing nationwide unrest. The war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region broke out on 4 November 2020. A survey done in parts of Tigray and investigative reports by human rights bodies Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch show that thousands of civilians have been killed.

The US and European Union have warned that more than 2.1 million internally displaced people and over 70,000 refugees are facing a humanitarian crisis.

Attacks on health facilities and workers are unfortunately not uncommon in war. However, the rate and scale of the destruction of Tigray’s healthcare system is severe.

Before the war, the Tigray region had 47 hospitals, 224 health centres, 712 health posts and 269 functional ambulances. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reports that most facilities were first looted by ground forces and then destroyed or turned into military camps. This highlights the systematic nature of the attacks.

A recent assessment by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and others indicated that about 70% of assessed hospitals and health centres in the region have either been partially or fully damaged. As a result, over 2.5 million people are without access to essential services.

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