Guernsey’s Islanders have generously donated almost £35,000 to support UNICEF UK and Crowdfunder’s VaccinAid campaign, helping to deliver the biggest vaccine drive in history to the poorer people of the world.
Guernsey’s Overseas Aid & Development Commission has now agreed to extend the campaign until 31st December 2021.
Deputy Chris Blin, President of the Commission, said: “The Commission would like to thank Islanders for their generous support and community spirit – one example of this being the recent donation of over £100 from Le Murier School.
“In light of this ongoing support, the Commission has decided that there is merit in extending the campaign until the end of this year, as there is still much work to be undertaken around the world.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that at the end of September 2021 only 4.4% of the whole population of Africa had been fully vaccinated. This compares to 66% of the whole population in the United Kingdom. The WHO says that half of the countries in the African continent have vaccinated less than 2% of their population and Burundi and Eritrea are yet to roll out their vaccination programmes.
Chris continued: “Guernsey’s vaccination figures are even higher than the UK and the contrast between the vaccination figures for the most developed countries and the lower income countries of the world is stark.
“I believe there are two further compelling reasons why Guernsey should do as much as it can to support VaccinAid. Vaccines have been provided to Islanders for free, and given the excellent position we’re in, we can and should look to ‘pay it forward’ to the many less fortunate people of the world. Secondly, by helping more countries to protect their populations, we help bring down the prevalence of the virus overall, which avoids more outbreaks and ‘variants of concern’ which could ultimately affect us all.”
The money raised will be used by UNICEF, the only organisation present in all countries participating in COVAX and which has an established global supply chain network. COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.