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Middle East Nations Sign Joint Resolution Declaring Polio Eradication An Emergency Priority

“Some 21 nations in the Middle East and nearby regions have jointly made the eradication of polio an emergency priority and recognized that Pakistan is a key part of the problem, the [WHO] said Wednesday,” the Associated Press reports (11/13). “Pakistan approved the resolution, which the WHO says includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE, and Yemen,” Al Jazeera adds (11/13). “The countries also called for support in negotiating and establishing access to those children who are currently unreached with polio vaccination,” United Press International writes (11/14). “Seven countries and territories are holding mass polio vaccination campaigns with further extensive campaigns planned for December targeting 22 million children,” a press release from the WHO notes (11/13). “It will be an expensive and arduous undertaking, with no guarantees that vaccination teams will reach the most vulnerable children before the virus does,” according to TIME (Baker, 11/13). “The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) is working to help address polio vaccination needs inside Syria’s hard-to-reach zones in close coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent as the two relief agencies,” a UNHCR press release states (11/13). UNICEF examines vaccination efforts in Lebanon (11/13).