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Press Release

The UK needs to show greater ambition than vaccine ceasefire announced by foreign secretary, says IRC

The International Rescue Committee today called on UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to recognise the "double emergency" that is being caused by the global pandemic which isn't just about the roll-out of the vaccine but also the economic impact of COVID-19, particularly on those in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Melanie Ward, UK Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee, said:

"The foreign secretary is right to highlight the need for vaccinations to be distributed globally with conflict and crisis being a clear barrier to this happening. However, vaccination isn’t the only issue for which a ceasefire is needed as COVID-19 is resulting in a double emergency of not just the virus itself but also an economic crisis resulting in high levels of food insecurity.

"We hope the UK will use its position on the UN Security Council to support the Secretary General's call for a wider ceasefire that recognises the needs of all those in fragile and conflict affected states. However, cuts to UK aid, which are now being implemented including to vital health services in developing countries, are a slap in the face to those facing life-threatening hunger and economic insecurity, as well as to those on the frontlines battling COVID-19."

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.