The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has released Australia’s latest development policy outlining its two-year approach to international development. The policy is titled ‘Partnerships for Recovery’ and outlines a development cooperation program focused on stability, health security, and economic recovery in partner countries. The policy also reveals that Australia will continue to emphasize loans for infrastructure development in the Pacific over the next two years.
The policy highlights the importance of equitable access to vaccines when a COVID-19 vaccine is developed. Australia commits to working with international and Australian partners — including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — to ensure that any newly developed vaccines are widely available.
So far, commitments made in light of COVID-19 only drawing around 4% of Australia’s annual development cooperation budget, however, DFAT has indicated that the challenges associated with the COVID-19 crisis will dwarf Australia’s ODA budget. As a result, the government has abandoned its wider review of Australian development policy, which was due to be released in July 2020.