Watchdog: Lebanon’s vaccination of refugees, migrants lags

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Sumary of Watchdog: Lebanon’s vaccination of refugees, migrants lags:

  • BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon vaccination campaign has been slow and risks leaving behind some of the country most vulnerable people, including Palestinian and Syrian refugees, as well as migrant workers, a leading rights group said Tuesday..
  • Human Rights Watch said only 18% of Palestinian refugees and 17% of Syrian refugees eligible for vaccines have gotten their shots, many citing either lack of information about vaccine access or fear of security measures as a reason for not registering to get the vaccine..
  • “The entire vaccination campaign is slow and opaque, but refugees, migrant workers are lagging behind even more,”.
  • The small country of about 6 million is facing its worst economic and financial crisis to date, with tens of thousands out of work, basic food prices soaring, and more than half the population now living under the poverty line..
  • Lebanon has so far registered over 480,000 coronavirus cases and more than 6,000 deaths — including 239 Syrian refugees..
  • According to the New York-based group, only 20% of an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon have the legal right to live here, leaving many afraid of arbitrary detention or arrest if they register for vaccines through a government-managed platform..
  • So far, Lebanon has received almost 297,180 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, funded by the World Bank and 33,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the U.N.-led COVAX program that provides for lower-income countries..
  • HRW urged the Lebanese government to make it clear to refugee groups that refugees “will not be arrested or deported if they register”.
  • Nearly 200,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon face widespread discrimination and are barred from government services, including health care…

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