Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne released details of the official development assistance (ODA) budget for 2021-2022, as part of Australia’s federal budget released on May 11, 2021.
Payne indicated the ODA budget would remain at A$4.0 billion (US$3.1 billion) and focus on economic recovery, health security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The government also confirmed temporary measures to supplement the ODA budget to address the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This involved an estimated A$319 million (US$250 million) in 2021-2022 to support access to vaccines and address the economic and social impacts of the pandemic in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.
The one major new ODA announcement was Australia’s provision of A$37 million (US$29 million) over two years to assist India, including through providing ventilators and oxygen concentrators.
Separately, the Australian government noted an allocation from domestic resources to establish an Australian mRNA vaccine production facility. No funding is shown allocated to this due to commercial considerations.