WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The Palestinians’ COVID-19 vaccination plan faces a $30m-funding shortfall, even after factoring in support from a global vaccine scheme for poorer economies, the World Bank said in a report on Monday.
The Zionist regime should consider providing surplus doses to the Palestinians to help accelerate a vaccine roll-out in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, the bank said.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) plans to cover 20 percent of Palestinians through the COVAX vaccine-sharing program. PA officials hope to procure additional vaccines to achieve 60 percent coverage.
Cost estimates suggest that "a total of about $55 million would be needed to cover 60 percent of the population, of which there is an existing gap of $30 million,” the World Bank said.
The Palestinians began vaccinations this month and have received small donations from Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
But the roughly 32,000 doses received to date fall far short of the 5.2 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, territory the Zionist regime captured in a 1967 war.
Palestinians and rights groups have accused the Zionist regime of ignoring its duties as an occupying power by not including the Palestinians in its inoculation program.
Occupying regime officials have said that under the Oslo accords, the PA health ministry is responsible for vaccinating people in Gaza and parts of the West Bank.
While the PA expects to receive an initial COVAX shipment within weeks, the program is at risk of failing, mainly due to a lack of funds. The PA says it has supply deals with Russia and drugmaker AstraZeneca but doses have been slow to arrive.