Standing with our region in response to COVID-19

  • Joint media release
  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women
  • The Hon Alex Hawke MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Assistant Defence Minister
23 October 2020

Australia is working in close partnership with our neighbours in the Pacific and Southeast Asia to give strength to a region-wide recovery from COVID-19.

The pandemic has put pressure on communities, economies and livelihoods. To deliver support where our partners say they need it most, Australia has transformed our development program through Partnerships for Recovery, pivoting 400 individual programs worth $840 million.

As part of Partnerships for Recovery, we are releasing 27 country-specific COVID-19 Development Response Plans, which were created in close consultation with our partner countries.

“Economies have been heavily impacted and livelihoods are being threatened,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne. “Australia stands with our neighbours as we respond to the human, economic and social costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our shared prosperity and security across the Indo-Pacific depend on how we work together, today.”

The COVID-19 Development Response Plans provide a blueprint for delivery of our development support at the country, regional and global levels. They further reshape Australia’s development program in response to the pandemic, focusing on economic recovery, health security and stability.

They provide a whole-of-government framework for Australia’s response, drawing on the full suite of our development, diplomatic, and defence capabilities, as well as the strengths of our private sector and civil society organisations.

Each response plan has been tailored to the individual partner’s circumstances and needs over the next two years.

“These individual plans show Australia is a reliable and responsive partner who listens and adapts to the needs of our neighbours and region,” Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Minister Hawke said.

“The COVID-19 crisis is still unfolding and its impacts are highly uncertain. Our plans are flexible enough to adjust as these impacts become clearer.”

The pandemic has presented enormous challenges to our region but, by working together, we can achieve a shared recovery.

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