Egypt Independent

Jordanian foreign minister: Don’t politicize COVID vaccines



Jordan will rely on countries such as China and Russia to source enough coronavirus vaccines after receiving an insufficient number of doses from the COVAX initiative, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told DW on Wednesday.

Following talks with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin, Safadi said Jordan will have to “knock on every door” to obtain vaccines from other sources.

With a population of 10.1 million people and a community of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, Jordan was earlier praised for providing the jab to refugees as well as its own citizens. However, under its first COVAX allocation, the country is set to receive just 437,000 doses.

Jordan has recorded over 442,000 coronavirus cases and more than 5,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The country is currently seeing a new surge in the virus, blamed largely on the rapid spread of the highly infectious UK variant, B.1.1.7. Among other measures, Jordanian officials have implemented a nightly curfew and a closure of outpatient clinics in state hospitals.

‘Nobody benefits from politicizing’ the vaccine

As Jordan struggles to obtain sufficient supplies to combat the increasing spread of the virus, Safadi said that nobody “will benefit from politicizing this issue,” referring to Western concerns over the procurement of Russian and Chinese vaccines.

Jordan on Wednesday approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use against the virus.

Solution for refugees ‘has to be global’

Citing Jordan’s large population of refugees, Safadi added that the international community as a whole must wake up to the wider issue of refugees.

“Refugees cannot be the responsibility of host countries only. It is a global challenge and therefore the solution has to be global,” said Safadi, adding that Jordan was working to provide vaccinations and a “dignified life” to more than 600,000 UN-registered refugees.

“If you abandon them to hate and despair and ignorance, then the challenge is going to be enormous for all of us.”

Maas and Safadi were meeting to discuss what they called the “strategic dialogue” between the countries. The pair are set to travel to Paris together on Thursday to meet with their French and Egyptian counterparts, as part of the “Munich Format” discussions to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

By DW News