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Iraq received 100,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by Italy through COVAX [EN/AR]

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As part of its pledge to deliver 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the first doses donated by Italy have been delivered to Iraq.

Baghdad, 12 September 2021 – 100.800 of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine have arrived to Iraq, as the first delivery from a pledge of 15 million doses to be donated to COVAX by Italy. This donation of doses to COVAX comes on top of the USD 470 million Italy has pledged to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC).

In May this year, as chair of the G20, Italy hosted The Global Health Summit alongside the European Commission, which saw seven European countries pledge to share over 100 million vaccine doses to priority countries like Iraq, boosting short-term supplies.

This donation by Italy allows COVAX to deliver more vaccines in the third quarter of this year, before supply from COVAX purchase agreements increases in Q4, meaning that more people will be able to access vaccines now, at a time when variants are a major threat to global health and stability.

“Italy stands by Iraq and supports its efforts in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic” said the Ambassador of Italy, H. E. Mr. Bruno Pasquino, attending the delivery of the vaccines at the Baghdad International Airport. “This donation is a tangible sign of the solidarity and friendship ties between Italy and Iraq, with a view to contributing to economic, social and sanitary recovery.”

“In continuation of the efforts of the Ministry of Health to provide vaccines from various solid global origins, and with the support of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, the Ministry of Health is happy to receive a plane loaded with more than one hundred thousand doses of the anti-Coronavirus vaccine thanks to a donation of the Italian Government through the COVAX Global Facility,” stated Dr. Riyadh Al-Hilfi, Director General of the Public Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health.

“UNICEF thanks the Government of Italy for its donation of vaccines to Iraq through the COVAX facility. We look forward to more vaccines becoming available in the country as other COVAX partners share their doses of vaccines and help secure full funding for the global initiative and more vaccines,“ stated Sheema SenGupta, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.

“In WHO, we believe that we are only safe when we all are safe, and we will control this pandemic only when all people eligible for the vaccine have been vaccinated. The Iraqi government and its partners have deployed tremendous efforts in securing safe and effective vaccines for Iraqi people and through this type of solidarity demonstrated today by the Italian people, we are a step closer to achieving our goals.” Dr Ahmed Zoutine WHO Iraq Representative.

These doses donated by Italy are produced by the AstraZeneca manufacturing network. Donating through COVAX helps to increase vaccine coverage, and helps to bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic.

About Italy

Italy has contributed to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance since 2006 when it became a founding member of IFFIm and its third largest contributor. A key focus of its development strategy is to contribute to global health by strengthening the fight against inequalities in terms of the right to health.

For further information, please contact:

Giulia Mazzara, First Secretary at the Embassy of Italy in Baghdad, giulia.mazzara@esteri.it

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

Follow UNICEF on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

For further information, please contact:

Miguel Mateos Muñoz, UNICEF Chief Communication in Iraq, mmateosmunoz@unicef.org

About WHO

Founded in 1948, WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health.

For further information, please contact:

Baraa Shaba, WHO Communications Officer in Iraq, shabab@who.int

Ajyal Alsultany, WHO Communications Officer in Iraq, sultanya@who.int