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Australia invests in two initiatives to combat disease and reduce malnutrition in the Pacific

The Australian Government has announced A$7.7 million (US$6 million) to combat mosquito-borne diseases in the Pacific. In partnership with Monash University’s Eliminate Dengue Program and national health ministries, the programs will focus on detection of and response to dengue, Zika virus, and Chikungunya, in Fiji, Vanuatu, and Kiribati. 

The government also announced that A$4 million (US$3 million) will be invested in the winning ideas of the LAUNCH Food Challenge, which aims to find innovative ways to improve global nutrition. A$2.5 million (US$2 million) will be earmarked for the Pacific.

Press release – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia Global health

Philanthropy Australia concerned about proposed requirements for charities

Philanthropy Australia has raised concerns about proposed new requirements for charities outlined in the federal government’s discussion paper on reforms to deductible gift recipient status (DGRs). The proposals include new reporting requirements, a limit on advocacy activities for environmental charities, and a reintroduction of the ‘In Australia’ requirement, requiring charities to conduct all activities within Australia in order to retain DGR status.

Submissions to the Government’s discussion paper closed on August 4, 2017.

Website – Pro bono Australia

Australia

Australia and the EU sign Framework Agreement

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, have signed a Framework Agreement. The agreement aims to enhance cooperation between Australia and the EU in foreign and security policy, sustainable development, climate change, and economic and trade across government, business, and civil society. It will support future negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two geographies.

Press release - Australian Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Australia EU

DFAT evaluates Australia’s response to pandemics and emerging infectious diseases

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has released an evaluation of Australia’s work to strengthen the human and animal health systems involved in the prevention of emerging infectious diseases in Asia and the Pacific. The evaluation underscores the need for DFAT’s future health-security investments to be better integrated with the health systems of partner countries than has been the case to date. It also highlights the need for a differentiated approach that considers the differences between animal and human health systems in the Pacific and South-East Asia, and the constraints to implementing a One Health strategy.

Five specific recommendations are made in the report.

Website – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia Global health

EU reportedly considers increased cooperation with Australia and New Zealand

Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and European Commission for Trade, suggested that there is opportunity for further cooperation between the EU, Australia, and New Zealand. Noting the changing geopolitical focus on the Asia-Pacific, he cited room for collaboration within the Pacific region, for example, on climate change, renewable energy, and oceans and fisheries, as well as regional security, health, and education. Pacific island nations are highly vulnerable to climate change.

Australia and the EU have recently signed a new Framework Agreement; the EU plans to start negotiations on a new partnership agreement with developing Pacific island nations soon. 

News article - the Australian

Australia

Australia delivers first national review on 2030 Agenda July 2018

Australia will deliver its first Voluntary National Review on the 2030 Agenda at the UN High Level Political Forum in July 2018. The review provides an opportunity to outline Australia's achievements, priorities and challenges in advancing the SDGs and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development domestically and internationally.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Prime Minister and Cabinet are drafting the review as part of a whole-of-government process to coordinate Australia's implementation of the 2030 Agenda. DFAT has indicated it will be consulting civil society and private sector partners and peak bodies closely during the drafting process.

Website – DFAT

Australia

Australian humanitarian agencies work to form disaster coalition

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, has endorsed efforts to streamline the process of donating to charities and aid groups working in humanitarian assistance and crisis response. Such efforts could establish a single mechanism for fundraising for all humanitarian organizations as done in other countries.

News article - Huffington Post AU

Australia

IDRC and ACIAR renew partnership on food security

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) have agreed to invest CAD25 million (US$19.6 million) for the second phase of the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAf). The Fund is a joint IDRC-ACIAR initiative to leverage Australian and Canadian knowledge and technological expertise to support long-term food security in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The first phase of the CultiAf program was launched in 2013 with a CAD15 million (US$ 14.6 million) investment, which supported eight projects in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

News Article – IDRC

Australia Canada

Australian researchers release paper on evidence-based development policy making

A new discussion paper from the Australian National University (ANU)’s Development Policy Centre explores the challenges for evidence-based policy making in developing countries. The report's authors are part of the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct, an Australian development assistance program that supports a partnership in economics and public policy between the ANU and the University of Papua New Guinea.

Blog – Development Policy Blog

Australia

Australia to assist Sri Lanka to combat dengue fever

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced that Australia will assist Sri Lanka to combat dengue fever, after meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during an official visit to the two countries. Minister Bishop also reiterated Australia’s commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process and deepening ties with India’s business and education sectors.

Press release - Minister of Foreign Affairs

Australia Global health