Australian Agriculture Minister Murray Watt announced an additional A$10 million (US$7 million) in assistance to Indonesia for foot and mouth disease, which will provide technical assistance and 1 million vaccine doses. The Australian government already announced a A$5 million (US$4 million) package for Indonesia in July 2022, bringing total contributions for foot and mouth disease response in the country up to A$16 million (US$11 million). Australia also allocated A$9 million in Australian domestic and border measures against foot and mouth disease, which affects cattle.
Robyn Alders at the Australian National University Development Policy Centre emphasized declining Australian government support for international agricultural research and development from 2013 onward. Many bilateral agricultural programs were ended or reduced, as part of wider reductions in Australia’s development assistance budget. This included a reduction of 40% in overall development assistance allocated to Southeast Asia in 2020.
Alders noted that supporting agricultural biosecurity services in regional countries was far more cost-effective than dealing with a major disease outbreak domestically.
Australia recently issued a new biosecurity strategy that emphasizes partnerships at international, national, and local levels.
One component of the strategy was to assist in developing global biosecurity standards, conditions, and rules. The strategy also included recommendations for capacity-building to enhance harmonization, information sharing on pests and diseases, and skills exchanges.
News article - The Australian
News article - The Conversation
Strategy - Biosecurity Australia