DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s finance minister said on Tuesday his country was talking to manufacturers to provide COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries including Yemen and African states.
“We are negotiating with a lot of the vaccination companies to provide more vaccinations particularly to low income countries,” Mohammed al-Jadaan told the virtual World Economic Forum in Davos.
Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition that has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen since early 2015, in a war that has pushed Yemen into a humanitarian crisis.
Jadaan said Yemen and some African nations would not be able to get enough vaccines through the COVAX facility – the global pooled procurement mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines.
The COVAX programme aims to help Yemen reach 20% of its high-risk population with donated vaccines.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier told the same forum that wealthy countries should stop hoarding excess COVID-19 vaccines that they had ordered but did not immediately need.
(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia and Saeed Azhar; Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Alison Williams and John Stonestreet)