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Displaced women with their children wait for assistance at a building used by refugees as shelter in Pemba, Mozambique, after they fled attacks in Palma in Northern Mozambique, April 19, 2021. Photo AP


GENEVA - The U.N. refugee agency is repeating its call to Tanzanian authorities to stop forcibly deporting asylum seekers back to Mozambique, where their lives are in danger.

Two-and-a-half months have passed since Islamist militants attacked civilians in the gas-rich coastal town of Palma in northern Mozambique, killing dozens and displacing more than 70,000.

While the level of violence has diminished, the U.N. refugee agency said armed conflict and insecurity continue to displace thousands of people.

Desperate search for safety

UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said people are fleeing daily in a desperate search for safety both in Mozambique and across the border in Tanzania.

“9,600 desperate people trying to seek a refuge across the border inside Tanzania and being forced to return to a situation of danger is really grave and it is a dire situation … Refugees must not be forced back into a situation of danger,” Baloch said.

That, he said, violates the principle of non-refoulement or no forced return. International human rights law states that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture or other treatment that could cause irreparable harm.

Forcibly returned

Baloch said UNHCR teams along the Tanzania-Mozambique border say people being forcibly returned to Mozambique arrive in desperate condition. He said many become separated from their family members adding to their anguish.

“Those pushed back from Tanzania end up in a dire situation at the border and are exposed to gender-based violence and health risks as many are sleeping in the open at night in extreme cold without blankets or a roof over their heads," Baloch said. "There is an urgent need for emergency relief items including food.”

Humanitarian agencies estimate nearly 800,000 people have been displaced in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province since armed groups, some affiliated with Islamic State militants, launched attacks in the region in 2017. - Lisa Schlein, Voice of America

The leaders of the G7 nations: Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Mario Draghi, Joe Biden, Yoshihide Suga, Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson. (PA Images)

As the G7 leaders meet in Cornwall for the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic, one crucial topic under discussion will be how to ensure the poorest countries are able to access vaccines.

Boris Johnson set out a plan on Friday to start donating surplus jabs to countries in need within weeks, and Joe Biden pledged earlier this week to buy up 500 million Pfizer doses to distribute to 100 countries.

While these measures have been warmly welcomed, for some they have been been a long time coming because – so far – the global rollout has been anything but equal.

As the summit takes place, figures show that of the 2.26 billion vaccine doses administered worldwide, a quarter (560,271,029 doses) have been given to people in the G7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.

In fact, according to the data compiled by experts at Our World in Data and analysed by Yahoo News UK, this means that more coronavirus vaccines have been administered by the G7 countries than 201 other nations combined.

Even more strikingly, the total number of doses administered in G7 countries is 381 times as many as the 50 countries with the lowest total number of total vaccinations combined.

These bubbles represent the total number of vaccines administered.

G7 nations have administered 381 times more vaccines than the 50 countries with the lowest overall vaccine numbers combined. (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/Our World in Data)
G7 nations have administered 381 times more vaccines than the 50 countries with the lowest overall vaccine numbers combined. (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/Our World in Data)

China, which is not part of the G7, has administered by far the highest number of vaccine doses overall – more than a third of the global total. 

The US has the second highest overall total.

Size of total vaccine rollout by country or country group. (Yahoo News UK/ Our World in Data/  Flourish)
Size of total vaccine rollout by country or country group. (Yahoo News UK/ Our World in Data/ Flourish)

In January 2021, as the global vaccine rollout was beginning to gather steam, the director general of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned: "The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries."

His warning fell on deaf ears. Throughout the year, richer and more powerful nations have surged ahead while poorer ones struggle to get their hands on life-saving doses.

According to analysis by experts at Oxford University's Our World in Data, high-income countries have administered 63 vaccines per 100 people. In low-income countries the number is less than one vaccine per 100 people.

These are the 20 countries with the highest rate of vaccines administered per 100 people. All countries are high-income unless marked. Four of the G7 nations feature in the list.

Vaccines administered per 100  people. (Flourish/Our World in Data/Yahoo)
Vaccines administered per 100 people. Countries with populations less than 300,000 excluded. (Flourish/Our World in Data/Yahoo)

Leaders of G7 leaders, along with heads of the European Union who attend the summit, are expected to collectively agree to provide a billion vaccine doses in an effort to end the pandemic globally in 2022, amid mounting pressure on their nations to share the burden of protecting the world from the virus.

Biden has already promised to donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines for 92 low and lower-middle income countries and the African Union.

Under the PM's plan, the UK will provide five million doses by the end of September, with 25 million more by the end of 2021.

There are already calls to go further, with campaigners and human rights agencies urging leaders to commit to waiving patents for jabs.

Johnson told the BBC on Friday: “I think that the people of this country should be very proud that of the 1.5 billion doses that are being distributed around the world to the poorest and neediest in the world under the Covax programme, one in three come from the Oxford/AstraZeneca deal that the UK did, allowing those vaccines to be distributed at cost.

“And that’s before we’ve talked about the £548 million that we’ve contributed to COVAX, £1.6 billion to Gavi (the vaccine alliance).  By Matilda Long, Yahoo News




JUBA, June 10 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan and Malawi on Thursday signed a trade agreement that will see Lilongwe export its surplus food to Juba to help ease the widening cereals deficit in the east African nation.

Kuol Athian, minister of Trade and Industry, revealed that the deal will allow Malawian businesses to export food to South Sudan which is facing this year's highest cereals deficit estimated at 465,600 metric tons.

"There is shortage of food in the country (South Sudan), we have been importing from neighboring countries but our friends from Malawi government have seen our suffering and want to rescue us," Athian told journalists in Juba.

Sosten Gwengwe, Malawian minister of Trade, disclosed that his country is looking forward to exporting food to offset this year's cereals surplus estimated at 1.2 million metric tons.

"We produced 4.2 million metric tons of maize, the country consumed about 3 million and we still have 1.2 million that we can export to other countries," said Gwengwe.

Athian said that they would issue Letters of Credit to South Sudanese to facilitate them to import food from Malawi.

Meanwhile, Malawi said it expects to import refined petroleum products from South Sudan to cut costs of importing from the Arab world.

South Sudan is soon to complete its Tharjath refinery in Unity state that will boost its capacity to export to its neighbors like Ethiopia and Sudan.

"This MOU we signed today will allow us (Malawi) to get what we are lacking from South Sudan, and South Sudan will be getting what they are lacking from Malawi," said Gwengwe. - Xinhua

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