The Future is Equal

Archives for May 24, 2021

Oxfam reaction to 2021 Global Health Summit

Anna Marriott, Oxfam Health Policy Manager and Policy co-lead for the People’s Vaccine Alliance said: 

The 2021 Global Health Summit ended today in danger of being judged an historical failure of global solidarity to tackle a Covid-19 pandemic that is still, around the world, in its first expanding phase and yet to peak. World leaders talked eloquently about the bottle-necks that are limiting vaccine manufacturing and supply, and the gross inequalities today of global vaccinations, but their solutions remain the same tired ones that have failed billions of people who remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to infection ahead. 

Nine people are dying every minute while the vaccine stores of COVAX – a multilateral initiative to get vaccines to developing countries – lie empty. Rich nations again parroted the lines of the same pharmaceutical companies who’ve succeeded better in creating new vaccine billionaires among their CEOs and major shareholders than they have supplying enough stock. The trickle of charity promised at the summit today was the sound of a bucket of water being thrown on a forest fire. 

Governments representing the vast majority of the world’s people are calling for an end to the corporate vaccine monopolies and demanding the mandatory sharing of the rights in order to produce more doses. But a handful of rich countries are continuing to put their relationships with big pharma ahead of ending this pandemic. Pharmaceutical corporations have had more than a year to voluntarily share their intellectual property and know-how but have instead put profits before people at every turn. Relying on just a handful of pharmaceutical corporations to make enough vaccines – and the sharing of crumbs of that supply to developing countries as charity – is an insult to the nurses and doctors on the front lines trying to save lives now. 

G20 leaders have once again ceded control of this pandemic to a handful of pharmaceutical corporations who continue to dictate who will get a vaccine and live, and those who will not and may die as a result.

Oxfam reaction to the ceasefire in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel

Shane Stevenson, Oxfam Country Director for the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel said:   

“Finally, for the first of 12 consecutive nights, two million Palestinians in Gaza, including hundreds of thousands of traumatised children, can rest rather than lie awake in fear as bombs fly over their homes.  And civilians across Israel will be spared the threat of rocket attacks.  

But this is not  a solution. This ceasefire will not change the occupation and denial of human rights which Palestinians are subjected to daily. This inhumane and brutal status quo has to stop, once and for all. Oxfam calls on the parties to strictly observe this ceasefire, and for the international community to hold Israel and armed factions in Gaza accountable for any and all violations committed during and preceding this escalation of violence.  There must be a just and sustainable peace for all Israelis and Palestinians. Alleged war crimes committed in each round of violence must be investigated and prosecuted.    

This must be the last time Palestinians in Gaza are forced to again undertake the slow and painful process of rebuilding their destroyed homes, lives and livelihoods. Humanitarian aid that has been denied from entering Gaza until now must be allowed to enter immediately so that Oxfam and other aid organizations can understand the sheer scale of the needs and reach people who desperately need support to survive. Humanitarian agencies like Oxfam have been supported by international governments and donors to work with Palestinians to rebuild after each round of violence, only to watch the results of these collective efforts destroyed time and again. The cycle of war followed by pledges of humanitarian aid can only be broken with concrete and meaningful political action by the international community to bring an end to the brutal, prolonged occupation, including a suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip.”