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Tribune News Network
The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) on Monday launched an international campaign to raise $100 million to support provision of COVID-19 vaccines for 3,650,000 refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and migrants in 20 countries.
The launch of the campaign was announced by Sheikh Abdullah bin Thamer Al Thani, president of QRCS, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). Representatives of partners and contributors participated in the online press conference.
As the world moves towards the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic response, equitable access to vaccines and treatments will be vital to saving the lives of the most vulnerable people. Inspired by its sense of responsibility, QRCS is launching this humanitarian drive in support of the World Health Organization, said the charity.
The #IAmVaccinatedIDonated initiative will be under a large-scale campaign to mobilise support at the government, institutional and individual levels. It involves a public advocacy campaign for COVID-19 vaccine equity and leave no one behind, with support of everyone, as no one is safe until everyone is safe.
Sheikh Abdullah said, “We are honoured to announce that the campaign will also provide unprecedented ability for Muslims across the world to use Zakat money to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts, in compliance with the rules of Islamic Sharia. As Muslims are welcoming the Holy Month of Ramadan, the time of spirituality, mercy, good deeds, solidarity and redoubled reward, we hope they will join this unique effort.”
Dr Ghebreyesus stated, “While the pandemic has affected all of us, the poorest and the most marginalised have been hit hardest – both in terms of the lives and livelihoods lost. The inequitable distribution of vaccines is not just a moral outrage; it is also economically and epidemiologically self-defeating. The choice of the Qatari people, and other peoples in the region, to direct their Zakat to vaccine equity is an affirmation that we are all in this fight together. We are one global community.”
HE Dr Ghaith bin Mubarak Al-Kuwari, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, said, “{And whoever revives it, it is as though he has revived all of Mankind}”. This Qur’anic logic gives the human soul a sublime position and makes preserving human souls a great purpose of Sharia. The need to ‘save souls’ becomes greater at times of calamities and disasters, in order to preserve the human species. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the strongest calamities affecting people around the world in our time, we must unite in order to limit its spread and provide vaccines for people without discrimination between the rich and the poor, or north, south, east and west.”
He added, “The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Qatar is pleased to be among the contributors to this campaign, to protect human souls from COVID-19, by providing vaccines for refugees and migrants. The ministry will contribute QR10 million from the Health Care Endowment Fund.”
Ambassador Ali bin Khalfan Al-Mansouri, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations in Geneva, said, “This is an admirably generous humanitarian initiative that seeks to vaccinate the most vulnerable refugees, IDPs, and migrants everywhere. They are desperately in need for vaccination. It is not something new for Qatar, which has always been at the forefront of benevolent work and support for regional and international efforts. Within the parameters of international cooperation, Qatar holds at all times a sense of international collective responsibility for responding to disasters and epidemics like COVID-19.”
Dr Hilal Musaed Al-Sayer, president of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) and member of the Permanent Committee, said, “We have to say thank you to QRCS for this humanitarian initiative, which is normal for our brothers and sisters in Qatar. They have always been there for humanity, extending help to those in need everywhere. KRCS supports this initiative to serve humanity.”
Anil Soni, CEO of WHO Foundation, said, “I salute QRCS for launching today an initiative to call on Qataris to see in Zakat an opportunity to reach out, through WHO, and help ensure that everyone has access to vaccines. By acting in solidarity, we can keep each other safe.”
Murat Ellialti, vice-president of the Turkish Red Crescent, said, “Being a leading humanitarian organization of a country hosting the largest number of refugees globally, the Turkish Red Crescent would be honoured to support this campaign, not only financially but also with promotion and advocacy of the rights of refugees, migrants and IDPs.”
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