Given the enormous needs of children and families here in Australia, UNICEF Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s maintenance of its Overseas Development Assistance announced last night and the additional targeted funding for the COVID-19 response and recovery for the region.
The Australian Government has committed significant funding to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Beyond the procurement of vaccines, the government’s approach to support end-to-end roll-out of vaccination across our region is critical in the fight to bring this pandemic to an end in our region. UNICEF is a proud partner in these efforts.
The Government’s agenda to prioritise women’s equality in the budget is applauded by UNICEF Australia. We are pleased to see this policy extend to the overseas aid budget with support for programs specifically targeting gender inequality given a priority, alongside an increase on helping countries overseas address climate change.
The situation in India is front of mind for Australians right now and we commend the $37.1 million allocated to response efforts.
Beyond the immediate crisis that COVID-19 has presented around the world, the pandemic has reversed decades of development gains for children and will leave a long-lasting impact. The need for large-scale support has never been greater.
UNICEF Australia therefore strongly encourages the government to remain committed to supporting children and families through what will be a long, slow recovery.