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Helping the world's poor battle COVID: Vax equity & relief efforts

Natalija Gormalova/Natalija Gormalova for CRS
Since the COVID pandemic began, Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services has reached 21 million people worldwide with on-the-ground efforts, like this sanitation and hygiene field project at the Pwalugu Market in Ghana, West Africa, to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bolster the capacity of local health responders to deliver COVID vaccines and clinical aid.

Now, a conversation about the importance of global vaccine equity, the role that the United States is playing, and what else it could be doing.

Last Wednesday, the White House convened a Global COVID 19 Summit with more than 100 leaders from governments and international organizations. President Joe Biden announced that the US would purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for underdeveloped countries, and he committed nearly $800 million dollars to help distribute the vaccines in nine countries across three continents. Other countries also announced their intentions to donate vaccines and money as well.

Joining Tom on Zoom from Baltimore is Bill O’Keefe, the Executive Vice President for Mission and Mobilization at Catholic Relief Services. The private relief and development agency has been deeply involved in helping poor countries around the world cope with the COVID pandemic. Mr. O'Keefe advocates for U.S. policies that promotes justice and reduces poverty internationally.

And from Monrovia, Liberia, Abena Amedormey joins us on Zoom, as well. She’s the Country Manager for Catholic Relief Services in Liberia, one of many African nations where fewer than 4% of the population has received a COVID vaccination.

Bill O'Keefe-AbenaAmedormey-combo_CRS.jpeg
Richard Anderson/Abena Amedormey for CRS
CRS Executive VP Bill O'Keefe and CRS Liberia Country Manager Abena Amedormey

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