Hungary is donating 100,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Cape Verde to help the island nation in its fight against the pandemic and to help prevent the emergence of a new migration wave from there, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Lisbon on Thursday.
Hungary will deliver 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid jab to Cape Verde on June 8 in response to the African country’s plea for help, the minister told MTI. Szijjártó is attending an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Lisbon focused mainly on the future of EU-Africa relations.
“If we can’t provide help locally in the fight against the pandemic’s health and economic crises, then we need to be prepared for the emergence of more massive illegal migration waves,”
Szijjártó said. The African countries, he said, had already been in a difficult situation before the pandemic. “Many parts of the continent are dealing with deteriorating living standards, and now there’s the pandemic on top of that, which could trigger a new migration wave,” he said.
“If hundreds of thousands or millions decide to set off for Europe again, we’ll be under very serious pressure, and it would be very difficult to manage,” he added. Szijjártó said he and his EU counterparts had discussed the need to prioritise the distribution of vaccines in Africa.
“If only this had been the case in Europe before, rather than
Brussels viewing vaccines as some ideological or geopolitical issue,”
Szijjártó said. “It would be nice if the other European countries also provided actual help to the African countries as opposed to just paying lip service to the idea.”