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COVID-19 vaccination: ICRC’s work in armed conflicts and inaccessible places

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As wealthier countries continue vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 and new virus variants trigger spikes in cases, millions of people living through conflict and armed violence are yet to receive a single vaccine dose.

Many of these people are living in countries where no vaccines are available, or when they are accessible, they face challenges to access health services and are at-risk of being forgotten. This includes people who are detained, displaced from their homes, on a migration route, living in non-government-controlled areas or under the control of non-state armed groups.

From Mozambique to Myanmar, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working with Red Cross and Red Crescent partners around the world to support COVID-19 vaccination in armed conflicts as well as hard-to-reach and volatile areas to ensure no one is left behind.

ICRC in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Supports the National Society.

The ICRC supports the National Society for the transportation of vulnerable groups (e.g. older persons, people with disabilities, etc.) in all parts of the country, and in Brčko district also for ensuring the cold chain for vaccines and registration of citizens for the vaccination.

ICRC in Ethiopia

Supports the Regional Health Bureau (RHB) and health facilities with logistics.

The ICRC supports the RHB and national health facilities with logistics such as cold chain, refrigerators, cold boxes; as well as perdiem, Personal Protective Equipment and training for health staff; waste management; and, information, education and communication materials. In Tigray, an agreement to rehabilitate the COVID-19 ward at Mekelle General Hospital has been signed.

ICRC in Georgia

The ICRC supports the National Society in their efforts to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccination at the community level, and to facilitate the access to vaccines for minority groups. It also helps to strengthen local health capacities to ensure vaccination in hard-to-reach areas, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable groups such as the elderly isolated people.

ICRC in Iraq

The ICRC provides financial incentives to Ministry of Health (MoH) staff involved in the vaccination campaign, materials (refrigerators, laptops) and protective equipment. It also supports the MoH communication campaign on vaccination and held "Training for Trainers" on vaccination information to MoH staff.

ICRC in Jordan

The ICRC gives support to the National Society on awareness campaigns and the provision of Mental Health and Psychological Support to communities. Advocacy efforts were deployed by the ICRC, which resulted in the penitentiary system including detainees in the national vaccination campaign.

As of June 13, 4,288 detainees have received at least one dose of the vaccine (25% of the detained population).

ICRC in Kyrgyzstan

The ICRC gives support to training of staff in places of detention and provision of logistical support to ensure the vaccines' cold chain for detainees (e.g. donation of refrigerators, cool boxes and ice packs).

ICRC in Kosovo

The ICRC supports the two Red Cross structures and their branches for the transportation of vulnerable groups (e.g. older persons, people with disabilities, etc.), people in hard-to-reach communities and minority groups.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

ICRC in Mauritania

The ICRC supports the Ministry of Health in places of detention for vaccination of all detainees and prison staff.

ICRC in Mozambique

The ICRC facilitates the transport of vaccines and Ministry of Health (MoH) vaccination teams in three conflict-affected districts in the central region and a further three in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

The support to the vaccination campaign is expected to help reach 742,000 people in the central region and 715,000 people – including 230,000 displaced people – in Cabo Delgado. In addition, the ICRC supports the National Society in all six districts to increase awareness of the campaign among the population and the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine.

ICRC in Myanmar/Rakhine

The ICRC supported the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 vaccination activities in two townships in Central Rakhine (Rathedaung and Sittwe) in the month of April and May. A total of 9930 people were vaccinated in Sittwe (8166 in April and 1764 in May) and a total of 7660 people were vaccinated in Rathedaung (4400 in April and 3260 in May).

The ICRC also provided financial support (TA and Per diem) in April and again in May to the Maungdaw District Health department in North Rakhine for vaccination activities held in Maungdaw Hospital, Kyein Chaung Station Hospital and Taung Pyo Station Hospital.

ICRC in Niger

The ICRC provides support to the National Society on hygiene promotion and training for COVID-19 vaccination, with special emphasis on conflict and violence-affected regions such as Tillabéri (Sahel) and Diffa (Lac Chad Basin).

ICRC in Nigeria

The ICRC provides protection for staff and patients through the provision of Personal Protective Equipment, non-touch thermometers and hygiene items, as well as training on use.

ICRC in Serbia

The ICRC is supporting the National Society in providing equitable access to information for vulnerable population groups, including Roma communities and migrants.

ICRC in Tajikistan

The ICRC notably supports targeted efforts to maintain the cold chain required for vaccine distribution.

ICRC in Ukraine

The ICRC supports the National Society's in its role within the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, in particular by widening its contribution to access to vaccination by including people affected by the conflict and/or residing in remote locations; enhancing its vaccination awareness campaign, hotlines and promotion; and strengthening its finance management, accountability, human resources and equipment.

See the full interactive map of our operational support for COVID-19 vaccination plan