Vaccine Equity for the Forcibly Displaced

Vaccine Equity for the Forcibly Displaced

Tuesday, 23 March 2021 — 17:00 Amman/AST | 16:00 Geneva/CET | 11:00 Ottawa/EDT

As nations around the world vie for their shares of COVID-19 vaccines, many of the world’s most vulnerable — including refugees and others who have been forcibly displaced — are finding themselves last in the queue. 

In response, some countries are implementing programs to ensure that refugees, including in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, are among the first to receive vaccinations.

Several international programs are also working to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, including the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative as well as the COVAX Advance Market Commitment Engagement Group, which includes co-chairs from Canada, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

This panel of leaders concerned about the global response to the pandemic reviewed the current state of vaccine distribution and discussed how to ensure that vaccine nationalism doesn’t result in the world’s most vulnerable being shut out of pandemic responses. They also looked at Jordan’s approach to vaccinating refugees in the country as an example for other host countries.

Watch the Recording



Rosemary McCarney

Rosemary McCarney

Senior Fellow in Foreign and Defense Policy, Massey College, University of Toronto. Senior Advisor to the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Ambassador to the United Nations (2015-2019). Member of the Board of the WRMC [bio]

Welcome & Overview

Prince El Hassan bin Talal

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal

World Refugee & Migration Council Honorary Chair [bio]

Lloyd Axworthy

Chair, World Refugee & Migration Council, and former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs [bio]


Dr. Rana Hajjeh

Director of Programme Management, Eastern Mediterranean, World Health Organization [bio]

Anders Nordström

Dr. Anders Nordström

Head of Secretariat, the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response [bio]

Dr. Saad Jaber

Dr. Saad Jaber

Former Jordanian Minister of Health [bio]

Dominique Hyde

Director of External Relations, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency [Twitter]

Further Reading

Vaccine Nationalism Must Not Relegate the Forcibly Displaced to the ‘Back of the Queue’ — Lloyd Axworthy and Fen Osler Hampson

Jordan starts ‘world first’ COVID vaccinations in refugee camp

Iraqi couple among world’s first refugees to get COVID-19 jab (UNHCR)

Statement by (Canada’s) International Development Minister on Appointment to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment Engagement Group

This event was made possible through a partnership with Cuso International.


  • WRMC