Pismo Marc G.

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons 
Ottawa, Ontario,
K1A 0A6
Re: COVID-19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina
June 25, 2021.
Dear Minister Garneau,
I write to you with great concern regarding the dire humanitarian situation and public health crisis unfolding in Bosnia and Herzegovina caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the end of May, only 1.34% of the Bosnian population was vaccinated, with the vast majority of those vaccinations occurring outside of Bosnia. This is among the lowest vaccination rates in the world. The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center reported that Bosnia’s mortality rate during the last wave was approximately 4.4%, making it the ninth highest mortality rate in the world.
This pandemic has highlighted and amplified the dysfunction of Bosnia’s government. Certain unintended consequences resulting from the Dayton Peace Accords left the country with weak centralized institutions and allowed minority parties, divided along ethnic lines, to block vaccines ordered for all of Bosnia’s citizens. These ethnically-backed political parties “prey” on these and similar situations to further weaken Bosnia’s state institutions. To this date, not a single COVID-19 vaccine has been received by the government or any state institution. 
These events are taking place as Russia and China continue to expand their influence in the region. While their economic influence has long been known and overt (e.g., the well-documented sales of natural gas, military equipment and weapons, as well as the financing of major infrastructure projects), they are using the current pandemic as an opportunity to further expand their influence and propaganda in connection with their distribution of Sputnik and Sinopharm vaccines to countries in the Western Balkans. In that regard, we applaud the current Canadian Government decision to share 13 million doses globally and (ii) desire to become more involved in the Western Balkans (and Bosnia in particular) to neutralize Russian and Chinese influence in the region.  
In light of the above mentioned situation in Bosnia, we strongly urge you and the Canadian Government to add Bosnia on the list of countries that will receive direct allocation of COVID-19 vaccines in response to this public health and humanitarian crisis. When deciding on the global distribution of vaccines, we implore you to take the aforementioned facts, including the inability of the Bosnian government and its institutions to provide its people with any vaccines that were not donated by other nations, into consideration, and help all of the citizens of Bosnia, regardless of ethnic, religious, or other background, receive their fair share of Canadian vaccines. 
Your sincerely,
Dr. Emir Ramic
Chairman of the Institute for Research of Genocide Canada 
Leaders of the Bosnian community in Canada
Re: COVID-19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina