The end of the most traumatic period of this year 2020 is finally in view, as Covid vaccines are being distributed, recovery has become reality even if it is still far away for the whole world.
The pandemic has trained its death and destruction of livelihood on all the ethnic minorities of the world, men, women and children, and has underlined even more the profound disparities in access to vital elements like clean water, electricity, education, and health systems. But the ending is likely to add another division: separating countries with access to the vaccines from those without.
The benefits of the vaccine will be far from being equally apportioned. Certainly, the limited stocks available at the moment are being secured by the wealthy nations of the world, while developing countries, and especially the most disadvantaged of all, the indigenous people of the world’s rainforests are going to be excluded for some years if developing countries -home to the greatest number of indigenous communities- are left behind in the distribution of the vaccine for lack of resources
AS Richard Kozul-Wright Director of the Division on Globalization and Development strategies at the UN Conference on Trade and Development in GENEVA said “It is clear that developing countries, and especially poorer developing countries, are going to be excluded for some time. Despite the, understanding that vaccines need to be seen as a global good, the provision remains largely under control of large pharmaceutical companies in the advanced economies.”
Furthermore, High debts burden limit the ability of many poor countries to pay for the vaccines and their creditors are not accepting a debt suspension, hence depriving poor countries of additional resources.
According to the UN trade body “the international response to the pandemic has essentially ben pitiful. We are worried that as we move into the distribution of the vaccines, we are going to see the same again.”
The poorest countries and the indigenous communities will be the losers with dire consequences.
While Rainforest Fund and other organizations have answered their calls and provided all the support needed, the danger now comes from the increased invasions of their lands by illegal loggers, miners, farmers who can bring the pandemic in their territories and disruption can escalate quickly and spread uncontrollably.
Global solidarity with the poorest countries of the world and the indigenous communities worldwide is an imperative now, and for recovering better all from the richest countries to the poorest ones.
Dr. Franca Sciuto