Anera to Ensure Vaccination of 20,000 Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
March 11, 2021 | Beirut – Anera will provide the funding needed to purchase 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, sufficient to vaccinate 20,000 Palestinian refugees residing in Palestinian camps across Lebanon, more than 10% of the estimated Palestinian refugee population (16+ years old) needing a vaccine in Lebanon.
This effort is vital to reach populations at heightened risk. Palestinian refugees who contract COVID-19 reportedly face a morbidity rate three times higher than other residents of Lebanon.
Anera’s pledge supports the goal announced by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health and Lebanon’s National Committee for the Coronavirus Vaccine to provide the vaccine to all residents of Lebanon. Ensuring that all communities are vaccinated, including refugees, is vital to the public health of everyone. Anera is also a signatory to the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Equity Declaration.
Samar El Yassir, Anera’s country director in Lebanon, has sent an official letter to the Minister of Public Health declaring Anera’s commitment to this pledge. Samar commented,
“We are proud to contribute to the vaccination efforts to reach the most vulnerable communities. No one is safe until we’re all safe. We are driven by this belief and want to ensure that everyone in Lebanon, especially the refugees have access to the vaccine.”
Anera, together with other civil society organizations are coordinating with the National Committee for the Coronavirus Vaccine and the United Nations Relief Works Agency to pledging to supply vaccine doses for an estimated 130,000 Palestinian refugees. The involvement of non-profits is crucial to ensuring widespread vaccination among vulnerable populations in Lebanon.
Beyond funds to procure vaccines, Anera will continue its work on public health messaging, including a new campaign on vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy is a crucial hurdle that will require concerted public education to overcome. Anera is preparing information booths right outside the entrances of the Palestinian refugee camps to promote the vaccination drive. Anera staff and volunteers will distribute information through our established WhatsApp phone trees and in-person on how to register for the vaccine online and will help people who need assistance to register.
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Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.