Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, has announced a A$60 million (US$43 million) program that will support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with their response to COVID-19. This funding is part of the Partnerships for Recovery program under which Australia's development priorities have pivoted to focus on supporting countries in its region in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
The ASEAN regional cooperation program will include a partnership working on the detection of COVID-19 in the wastewater of Mekong countries. The funding will also assist in planning for recovery through cooperation in areas such as digital transformation and connectivity, with particular attention to the challenges faced by women and girls. Support will also be provided to assist ASEAN with capacity building and the purchase of medical equipment and supplies for the COVID-19 response.