“We are stronger when we come together and share resources”


Somali-American model Iman attends amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on February 5, 2020


Iman continues his global activism work with a new initiative that calls for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As a Global Advocate of CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), humanitarian and fashion industry icon, 66, has spearheaded a new campaign backed by 70 influential artists and artists that appeals to global leaders to push 70% of the population to be vaccinated by 2022.

The objectives of the initiative were set out in an open letter published in the New York Times Wednesday. It was signed by all 70 participants including Iman, Connie Britton, Richard Gere, Tony Goldwyn, Anne Hathaway, Annie Lennox, Eva Longoria, Debra Messing, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Ciara, Russell Wilson and others.

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In the letter, the famous activists pointed out that “only 2% of people in low-income countries received a single dose, leaving the world’s most vulnerable to COVID unprotected” and called on world leaders to help developing countries to obtain the necessary resources to immunize their populations.

Speaking of his role at CARE, Iman exclusively told PEOPLE, “The role of Global Advocate was created especially for me in 2019, and I have been honored ever since to continue to amplify and strengthen CARE’s ongoing work, and ultimately, to use my platform to fight for meaningful and lasting change. “

“As a Somali refugee, I felt drawn to helping defend human rights and the safety and security of people around the world. There is this very real and natural connection to the work CARE does and my existing passions.

covid vaccine

covid vaccine

Getty A healthcare professional giving a vaccine

She continues: “I became a refugee at the age of 16 and I am committed to improving future generations of women, especially those in developing countries. [non-governmental organizations] as CARE my life trajectory would probably be very different and my role as a Global Advocate is how I pay it forward and express my sincere gratitude for the essential work the organization does around the world. “

Iman explains that the coronavirus “disproportionately affects the most vulnerable population”, such as “refugees and forcibly replaced” people who have already suffered natural disasters and wars. “Now they are facing this devastating pandemic,” she said.

“We need to think of future generations and ensure a comprehensive response aimed at recovery. Here in the United States, we are fortunate to have the necessary resources and infrastructure readily available.” said the activist. “I firmly believe in the dignity of all and this pandemic has shown us that we are stronger, better and healthier when we come together and share resources.”

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“It is a blessing and a privilege to not only have the opportunity to receive a vaccine, but also to have it scientifically proven to be safe and effective,” she adds. “I urge those who are hesitant to see this as a chance to make a difference in the world by starting here at home. Certainly, we took a lot for granted before this devastating crisis, but I hope we can all emerge with a more feeling. strong with unity, gratitude and humanity. “

Asked about another pressing issue surrounding the pandemic – Americans are given booster shots before the vaccine is distributed around the world, as new research indicates the vaccine’s effectiveness may wane over time – Iman says ‘she “encourages anyone with access to the vaccine to take full advantage of it. “

“While we hope that campaigns like this (70 for 70) will allow us to start distributing vaccines widely around the world and closing the equity gap, in the end, the more vaccines there are. in the arms, the better, ”she shares.

As information on the Coronavirus pandemic changes rapidly, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some information in this story may have changed after posting. For the latest news on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use the online resources of the CDC, WHO and local public health services.PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise funds for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline workers to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to make a donation, click on here.


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