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$30 million Shortfall in Palestinian Vaccine Funds

Feb 22, 2021

Arab News reports that the COVID-19 vaccination plan of the Palestinians is facing a $30 million shortfall., despite support from a global vaccine scheme for weighed down economies.

The World Bank has advised that to ensure an effective vaccination campaign, “Palestinian and Israeli authorities should coordinate in the financing, purchase and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.” The bank added that Israel should consider donating surplus doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the Palestinians to fast-track roll-out in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

While the Palestinian Authority plans to vaccinate 20% of Palestinians through the COVAX vaccine-sharing program, the Authority hopes to obtain enough additional vaccines for 60 % coverage.

Arab News reports that, according to the bank, cost estimates suggest  that “a total of about $55 million would be needed to cover 60 percent of the population. However, the territories are experiencing a $30 million shortfall. The World Bank has called on donors to assist.

The Palestinians began vaccinations this month. However, the estimated 32 000 doses by way of small donations from Israel, Russia and the United Arab Emirates have made but a small dent in the 5.2 million population of the West Bank and Gaza.

Meanwhile, Arab News reports that Palestinians and rights groups say Israel is ignoring its responsibilities as an occupying power by not including the Palestinians in its inoculation program. The Pfizer vaccine is being administered to 9.1 million Israeli’s, with Israel still  in possession of a separate stockpile of 100 000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Umm Muhammed Umar

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