A resolution adopted by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Wednesday, called for a scaling-up of production by the main vaccine-producing countries, faster distribution of the vaccines, and low-cost financing from international financial institutions so that developing countries can buy the stocks they need.
The resolution was presented on behalf of CARICOM by Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador, Sir Ronald Sanders, who, along with Trinidad and Tobago's Ambassador Anthony Phillips-Spencer, the Chair of the CARICOM caucus, orchestered its passing.
Speaking for CARICOM, Ambassador Sanders told the OAS that its 34 member states accounted for 45 per cent of the infected cases and 48 per cent of the deaths globally.
“That is almost half the global number of infected cases and nearly half the number of deaths in the world,” he said. “Those figures alone should give each of us – and all of us – every good reason to be gravely troubled about the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of our peoples. In many, if not all, of our countries, our hospitals are finding it enormously difficult to cope”.
Sir Ronald explained that while the majority of developing states, including in Latin America and the Caribbean, are still without stocks of vaccines, “some developed countries have ordered vaccines, in one case, five times the size of its population, and are hoarding them at a time when they are desperately needed throughout the world”.
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