NEW YORK, Sept 24 (KUNA) -- Kuwait has provided assistance worth USD 327.4 million to initiatives worldwide aiming to ensure an equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly to impoverished nations, His Highness the Amir's Representative said on Friday.
Speaking at a United Nations General Assembly session, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad called to ensure "a fair and safe global distribution of vaccines to all countries, to reach a comprehensive immunisation level." Most recently, Kuwait contributed USD 40 million to COVAX, a worldwide vaccine distribution initiative co-led by the World Health Organisation, and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which aims to expand vaccine accessibility and improve governments' health systems, administered by civil society and global organisations.
Domestically, the country has also ensured a fair distribution of globally-approved vaccines amongst its communities of nationals and expatriates, with a high coverage rate of 72 per cent of the population.
On the repercussions of the deadly pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of over 4.7 million victims alongside causing widescale damage to economies and livelihoods and food scarcity, the prime minister said "the extent of the scars will remain present for a long time in the conscience of the world." The prime minister paid special homage to frontliners and health workers, "who from us, deserve a standing ovation and our appreciation." However, he said an eventual global recovery will require "steps to invest in data and information infrastructure." "This will contribute to improvements in the decision-making process in order to protect societies from similar future crises," added the prime minister.
On a positive note, the prime minister said that in spite of these negative aftereffects, the pandemic has been a "major catalyst for change and rebuilding for the better on the political, economic and social levels." This was demonstrated in the rapid response and cooperation, through domestic and international scientific research, that resulted in the production of multiple vaccines, he explained. (end) sd