RAMALLAH/GAZA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China has donated its third batch of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said the organization in a statement.
The vaccines had already been delivered to three UNRWA fields of operation, namely Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, by the last week of February, which would help protect the Palestinian refugees and contribute to the national vaccination programs of host countries, it added.
"This generous donation came as China's immediate response to the agency's needs amid global constraints in COVID-19 vaccine supply, as well as emerging uncertainties around the vaccination rollouts across the region," it noted.
Through the donation, the Chinese government "sends a clear message of solidarity with Palestinian refugees, who have been made increasingly vulnerable by the pandemic and enduring regional conflict," it added.
Akihiro Seita, director of the UNRWA Department of Health, said the donation "provides a crucial layer of protection for Palestinian refugees and promotes the equitable and timely vaccine access."
"This will also strengthen our collaboration with host countries as they kindly included Palestinian refugees in their national vaccination program," he noted.
For his part, Guo Wei, head of Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine, appreciates the continuous provision by the UNRWA of important assistance and services to Palestinian refugees in the Middle East for a long time.
He noted that "China will, as always, support the work of UNRWA and continue to provide practical assistance to Palestinian refugees."
"China's COVID-19 vaccine aid aims at implementing the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative, the core of which is to accelerate equitable access to vaccines in developing countries," Guo added.
Besides the vaccine donation, China also provides regular financial contributions in support of the delivery of emergency food assistance to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, according to the UNRWA.