Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called for greater access to vaccines by the Caribbean and Africa as these nations continue their fight against the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In addressing the Africa Day webinar on Tuesday, May 25, Holness emphasised that: “Africa cannot be denied opportunities, nor can the Caribbean, if we are to truly advance the ethos that no one must be left behind.”
He added that: “It cannot be morally justified that rich countries, many of which gained their wealth and scientific advantage through the exploitation of Africa and its people, now use this wealth and scientific advantage to hoard and stockpile vaccines while the poor and historically exploited and deprived countries wait in uncertainty to access equitable and consistent supplies, (with) their populations at risk and their economies on pause.”
The prime minister said “It would be the greatest setback for mankind if inequitable vaccine access was to cause uneven recovery and a widening of the development gap between rich and poor globally.”
He commended the Government of the Republic of South Africa and President Cyril Ramaphosa for his vision in establishing the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust and the African Medical Supplies Platform.