The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA) denounced that governments maintain discriminatory policies in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
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"Governments have failed all the inhabitants of the Amazon," said COICA Coordinator Jose Diaz, who is a member of the Wakuenai Kurripaco people.
"The advance of the Brazilian COVID-19 strain affects the most vulnerable and exposes the tragedies that affect our peoples: social inequality, poverty, marginalization and the absence of nation-states," he added.
The Amazonian communities' leader said that less than 1 in every 100,000 vaccines available in the region have been distributed to Indigenous peoples.
In response, COICA has launched a campaign to raise money through the Amazon Emergency Fund, which has disbursed over US$2.7 million so far.
"At the Paris climate summit, many countries said they wanted to solve the biodiversity crisis. If so, they should help Indigenous peoples because we are the first ones to care for the planet's health," Diaz stressed.
He also called on participants at Davo's World Economic Forum (WEF) to recognize that over 450 Indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin are the custodians of ecosystems of global importance.