UNHCR Welcomes Libya’s Initiative to Include Refugees in Vaccination Campaign

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On Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomed the initiative launched by the Libyan authorities under which refugees and asylum-seekers would also receive vaccinations against COVID-19, together with Libyans and other third-country nationals.

“We appreciate the inclusive approach taken by Libya. Giving all groups access to the vaccine will help to make sure that everybody is safe,” said Djamal Zamoum, the UNHCR’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya.

The first vaccination drive which included foreign nationals began on Saturday across Tripoli, with an initial target of 40,000 jabs. UNHCR said in a statement that it appreciates that the authorities are focusing on those most at risk from COVID-19, “we hope that this initiative will continue and expand to reach more refugees.” It noted that there are over 42,458 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya, who have fled war and persecution in their home countries.

On Saturday, the Libyan Ministry of Health, in coordination with Libya’s National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), announced the launch of a rapid COVID-19 vaccination campaign for all citizens and foreign residents. The ministry said that vaccinations were distributed to a number of areas in Tripoli, including Martyrs Square, Abu Salim Hospital Square, Al-Shatt Road near the NCDC, Al-Qarqni Health Complex, and Abushwesha Complex Square.