While wealthier nations begin to offer already fully vaccinated populations a third dose, many countries lag far behind – and many vulnerable populations are struggling to even obtain their first. In the 20 countries identified by IRC at greatest risk of a major new – or significantly worsened – humanitarian crisis over 2021, only 2.4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and less than 5 percent of the population has received a single dose of the vaccine. 

This inequity will stall the global fight against COVID-19 while making the everyday reality for those living in conflict zones and protracted displacement contexts much graver, as COVID-19 will continue to exacerbate existing humanitarian crises, driving poverty, hunger, and insecurity. To bridge gaps in global response and center vulnerable populations in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, we make five central recommendations for global leaders and institutions in this brief.