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World

Amnesty condemns rich world's 'near-monopoly' on Covid vaccines

  • "The richest countries have effected a near-monopoly of the world's supply of vaccines, leaving countries with the fewest resources to face the worst health and human rights outcomes."
Updated 07 Apr, 2021

LONDON: Richer countries are failing a "rudimentary" test of global solidarity by hoarding Covid vaccines, Amnesty International said Wednesday as it accused China and others of exploiting the pandemic to undermine human rights.

In its annual report, the campaigning rights organisation said the health crisis had exposed "broken" policies and that cooperation was the only way forward.

"The pandemic has cast a harsh light on the world's inability to cooperate effectively and equitably," said Agnes Callamard, who was appointed Amnesty's secretary general last month.

"The richest countries have effected a near-monopoly of the world's supply of vaccines, leaving countries with the fewest resources to face the worst health and human rights outcomes."

Amnesty strongly criticised the decision by former US president Donald Trump to withdraw Washington from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the midst of the pandemic -- a step now reversed by Trump's successor Joe Biden.

Callamard called for an immediate acceleration of the global vaccine rollout, calling the innoculation campaign "a most fundamental, even rudimentary, test of the world's capacity for cooperation".

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