27 April 2021
CAFOD has joined over 100 religious leaders and faith-based aid agencies calling for COVID vaccines to be made available for people in the global south. Signatories include Cardinal Turkson and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Latin America (CELAM), Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos.
The initiative has been launched by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a movement of health, humanitarian, and faith-based organisations.
“At the current pace of vaccine production and distribution, people in much of the world may not be vaccinated until at least 2024,” says the joint People’s Vaccine Alliance statement, signed by CAFOD along with many other religious leaders and faith-based organisations.
This statement is released as India confirms 16 million Coronavirus cases, and health and medical professionals face a situation that is beyond crisis point as they urgent call for oxygen supplies. It is estimated that India will need at the very least, two billion doses of a COVID vaccine.
“The same spirit of unity and common purpose that has driven scientists to develop COVID-19 vaccines at breath-taking speed, that drives the care of those tending to the sick, must also inspire the leaders of government, civil society and the private sector to massively ramp up vaccine production so there are sufficient doses for every person in the world to be vaccinated,” the statement continued.
“We call on all leaders to reject vaccine nationalism and embrace a commitment to global vaccine equity.”
As CAFOD campaigners prepare for the G7 summit in Cornwall in June, where leaders of some of the world’s richest nations will meet to discuss the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic - CAFOD Director, Christine Allen, says:
"As many vulnerable communities face the prospect of not being vaccinated for at least 2 years from now, we are calling on the G7 leaders to urgently put vaccine equity at the top of their agenda."
CAFOD is also calling for debt cancellation of all low- and middle-income countries , including calling on private creditors, like BlackRock, JP Morgan and HSBC to write off any debts owed to them by countries in the global south.
"The immense economic impact of COVID-19 on all economies, and particularly fragile economies, is a major factor in any response to the pandemic and highlights the need for swift debt cancellation so that countries can invest in their health services and vaccine roll-out.
“In uniting with the People’s Vaccine Alliance, we are working together with others to tackle issues of injustice, and to overcome the barriers that prevent the whole human family from flourishing, this is what Pope Francis calls us to act on."
Notes to editors:
For further information and interviews with spokespeople, please contact Nana Anto-Awuakye - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Mobile: 07799477541 - Or, CAFOD’s 24-hour media hotline on +44 (0)7919 301 429
Find more information on CAFOD’s Cancel the Debt campaign
The full interfaith statement from the People’s Vaccine Alliance can be read here: https://cafod.org.uk/News/Press-office/Press-releases/Religious-leaders-vaccine-call
CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. We reach out to people living in poverty with practical help, whatever their religion or culture. Help us build a world where no one is beyond reach of the love and care they need.