Yesterday, Belgium – as chair of the Working Group for Children and Armed Conflicts – announced conclusions on the situation of children in the armed conflict in Yemen were adopted unanimously. The fight against impunity, and more in particular children’s right violations, has long been one of Belgium’s foreign policy priorities. Also on the humanitarian front, Belgium is in the leading group of European donors with more than 9 million euros of humanitarian aid specifically targeted at Yemen.
On this international mine awareness day, Belgium reaffirms its unfailing support for the fight against anti-personnel mines, indiscriminate weapons that still cause too many victims around the world today.
A few months ago, the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) launched an application named Wanda, which informs travellers about the health risks they face depending on their destination. With this tool, the Institute wants to reach people who’re travelling abroad at the moment.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo will release five million euros for the development of a coronavirus vaccine. These funds will go to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an international alliance of public and private partners, which intends to accelerate the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. Virologist Peter Piot, one of the founders of CEPI, welcomes the Belgian effort.
Countries around the world are taking action to contain the coronavirus and end the pandemic. Many have put in place mandatory quarantine measures or have closed their borders. As a result normal border crossing can no longer be guaranteed. Many airlines are also drastically reducing the number of flights they offer. Consequently, the risk that Belgian citizens get stuck in a foreign country is becoming a lot higher. We therefore advise against any travel abroad.
Many materials are located in fragile countries and benefit the population too little. This is why the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been trying to make the money flows in the mining sector more transparent, as well as more valuable for the population, since 2003. Belgium is supporting the initiative.
At the request of the Greek government, Belgium has decided to send humanitarian goods through the B-FAST emergency mechanism. Greece called on the European coordination mechanism to assist them tackling the humanitarian emergency linked to the growing migratory pressure at their borders.