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Christianity: Oppression

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 147111, tabled on 1 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Christians receive equal access to vaccines and healthcare in countries or regions where they face persecution.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

10 February 2021

The UK is committed to rapid equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. The UK has committed £548 million to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. Through match funding, the commitment encouraged other donors to commit $1 billion. Our commitment will contribute to the supply of at least 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 for 92 developing countries. First COVAX deliveries are anticipated to begin at the end of February.

Gavi and its alliance partners plan to work with faith-based organisations and religious leaders to provide accurate and transparent information on, and encourage the distribution and uptake of, COVID-19 vaccines. We continue to assess the impact of Covid-19 on human rights globally, including Christians and members of minority religious and belief communities facing persecution.

On 16 November 2020, the Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, virtually attended the Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in Warsaw and reaffirmed the UK's commitment to promoting FoRB, particularly during the pandemic. We will continue working with our partners to support global efforts to combat the outbreak of Covid-19 and its effects on the most vulnerable, including those from religious minorities.