Venezuela: On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that the government had made a second payment to the World Health Organization (WHO) COVAX initiative to gain access to about 11 million coronavirus vaccines.
Venezuela is in the grasp of a second wave of the global pandemic, which has hampered its already underfunded health system. The country’s economic collapse has led to growing food insecurity, with Maduro adding that the director of the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, has met for officials.
Last week, the government said it had initially paid $64 million to COVAX for the first batch of vaccines after complaining that US economic sanctions that drove Maduro out of business were blocking amount. Maduro did not define the value of the second sum.
“The money is there. Now the vaccines will come to Venezuela,” Maduro stated in a national statement.
Venezuela has so far procured only 800,000 doses of Russian and Chinese vaccinations for its population of about 30 million. read more
Humanitarian organizations have long argued that the government should allow the WFP into the country, a move that Maduro resisted to alleviate hunger. Maduro said Beasley signed an agreement but did not render details. The WFP did not promptly respond to a request for remark.
Venezuela has recorded approximately 180,000 cases of coronavirus, including 1,800 deaths, although opposition and doctors’ organizations warn that the actual toll is likely to be higher due to a lack of tests.
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