External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar offered COVID-19 vaccines to all UN peacekeepers.
He announced this at the UN Security Council open debate on the implementation of resolution 2532 (2020) on the cessation of hostilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic on February 18.
"Keeping in mind the UN Peacekeepers who operate in such difficult circumstances, we would like to announce today a gift of 200,000 doses for them. Our contribution has also supported the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund," he said.
The union minister further shed light on the need to “improve public health infrastructure and build capacity through effective training programmes in vaccine delivery, especially in areas where health infrastructure is weak.”
"Today India, the pharmacy of the world, is stepping forward to meet the global vaccines challenge," he further said, adding that two vaccines have already been granted emergency authorisation.
He also informed that presently there are around 30 more vaccines under the various stages of development.
Under India's initiative of "Vaccine Maitri", which translates into Vaccine Friendship, the country is providing vaccines to the world and is a significant source of supply to the COVAX facility.
The union minister asked for cooperation on the COVAX initiative, which is trying to secure adequate vaccinations for the poorest nations all over the world, stressing that 'vaccine nationalism' needs to be stopped and internationalism should be encouraged.
He said, "Hoarding superfluous doses will defeat our efforts towards attaining collective health security.”
India is directly sending vaccines to various countries, starting from immediate neighbours.
So far 25 countries have already received Indian vaccines and 49 more countries will be supplied with the vaccines in the coming days, the minister added.
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