House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance

1:31 pm

Photo of Dave SharmaDave Sharma (Wentworth, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

COVID-19 has been a reminder, if any were needed, that the health of every one of us is dependent on the overall health of the world's people. We often have heard that we are all in this together, well that is truly the case on a global basis. Viruses and infectious diseases don't need visas and do not respect national borders. They travel around the world whether we like it or not and, as COVID-19 has shown, can do so at very high speed, catching a ride on aircraft and cruise ships. This is why protecting our population and protecting the population of our neighbours from infectious diseases through the provision of vaccination is one of the most important tasks any government can do. And it's why Gavi, the global vaccine alliance, is such an important organisation, helping children living in the world's poorest countries to access vaccines.

I'm very pleased to see that the Australian government has pledged a further $300 million to support the work of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, over the next several years. Over two decades Gavi has helped 16 countries in the Indo-Pacific vaccinate over 318 million children against diseases such as polio, measles, mumps and rubella. As the measles outbreak in Samoa just a few months ago illustrated, we cannot afford complacency against these diseases.

I wish to thank here and acknowledge the work of Foreign Minister Payne; the minister for international development, Alex Hawke; and the entire Morrison government for getting behind Gavi, helping our neighbours and acting in accordance with Australian interests.