Q. Who is behind the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign?
This campaign belongs to everyday people and any Australian organisation who believes we should stand in solidarity with our global neighbours who are ill-equipped to deal with this COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign was initiated by Micah Australia, with support from the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and Campaign for Australian Aid. It has since grown to a coalition of over 200 organisations made up of businesses, churches, health groups and more.
You can view the full list of ‘who is with us’ and add your organisation here.
Q. What does the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign want? What are the solutions?
We believe Australia can and should provide our expertise and leadership, and increase financial support, to end COVID-19 beyond our shores, because as unfolding events in our nation have shown us: COVID-19 is not over until it’s over for everyone.
To this end, we are working to encourage the Australian Government to deepen its partnerships with our neighbours to address COVID-19 and increase its assistance for the world’s most vulnerable nations and communities (more on our solutions page here).
Q. Why do you want individuals and organisations to sign onto the pledge?
The total number of people signing this pledge is being used to show a groundswell of public support for our global neighbours who are ill-equipped to deal with this COVID-19 crisis. With this show of support, we can encourage the Australian Government to provide vital assistance to vulnerable nations in line with the solutions we have proposed.
Q. Why the title #EndCOVIDForAll? That’s not solely the responsibility of Australia.
COVID-19 will be with us for a long time and we want to set out a vision for what we could achieve if we come together. It demonstrates the interconnection between every person and every nation, and the commonly held challenges of this pandemic. It recognises that those challenges do not affect us equally, and that we need to lend a helping hand to those nations and peoples who are less equipped to tackle the virus if we want this crisis to be over for all of us.
Q. Don’t we need to focus on putting Australians first through this time?
Under 1% of all national spending is invested in Australian aid. As a fortunate nation, we think we can help people at home and help people in our region, while also doing our fair share in assisting global efforts to tackle COVID-19.
Furthermore, as we depend on trade, travel and tourism, Australia’s own recovery is linked to the recovery of the region and the world. Not only is it the right thing to do, but investment in Australia’s aid program is in our nation’s best interest to accelerate our pathway out of COVID-19.
Q. With our own rising national debt, how can we afford to support those overseas through this time?
While we acknowledge the challenging budget conditions COVID-19 has introduced in Australia, we believe targeted investments in new and additional aid expenditure to combat COVID-19 globally and in our region, is a smart and reasonable investment. It is vital to accelerate Australian economic recovery; enhance regional health security; and advance Australia’s global and regional interests and influence.
Q. Isn’t the Australian Government already assisting vulnerable nations through its aid program?
Yes, it is. In fact, Australian aid is already doing remarkable work in our region and beyond, and has been doing so for some time. Our aid program is something we can take pride in as a nation.
In 2020 – due in part to the efforts of everyday Australian’s adding their voice to this campaign – Australia stepped up.
The Australian Government announced an initial down payment of $1.1 billion to help vaccinate our region, protect the vulnerable, and bolster economic reconstruction.
DFAT and its partners, including Australian and local NGOs, successfully “pivoted” in 2019–2020 to deal with the immediate impacts of the pandemic.
The investment of $1.1 billion included:
- $500 million to support the vaccination of the entire Pacific region and parts of South East Asia
- $304 million to help the recovery of Pacific and Timor-Leste
- $80 to the Gavi-COVAX Advance Market Commitment to help ensure vulnerable nations are able to access a vaccine
- $485m to help the recovery of South East Asia package at ASEAN (of which $360m appears to count as Official Development Assistance i.e. ‘aid’)
This was the right and rational thing to do – we are fostering a healthier, more prosperous region where nations and people can flourish.
These announcements are a great start. But as the Lowy Institute has made clear, they don’t go far enough. Its modelling points to a ‘lost decade’ where the Pacific will struggle to recover even after mass vaccination.
And it’s in our interest as a nation to act. The International Chamber of Commerce modelling shows the global economy will take a $9.2 trillion hit if poorer nations don’t get vaccines. Half that cost would land with advanced economies.
To view our policy asks – outlining the next phase of critical investments we are calling on the Australian Government to make – please visit our solutions page.
Q. How will my personal information be used if I sign the pledge to #EndCOVIDForAll?
If you wish to remove yourself from the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign simply unsubscribe from any campaign email you have received or send an email to [email protected].
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People believe in Australia providing vital support to vulnerable nations