MEDIA RELEASE: GHAA and Pacific Friends welcome Australian Government’s COVID19 support for PNG

March 17th, 2021

Published: March 17th, 2021


17 March 2021

Global Health Alliance Australia – Australia’s peak body for global health organisations – and Pacific Friends of Global Health congratulate the Australian Government’s announcement this morning of urgent COVID-19 support measures for Papua New Guinea.

Australia will immediately send hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment supplies to PNG, as well as medical equipment and medical personnel early next week. Australia has also allocated 8,000 of our own domestic vaccines to PNG, and has ordered 1 million doses of Australian-contracted Astra Zeneca vaccines to be distributed to PNG by the end of the year.

Global Health Alliance Australia board member and Pacific Friends of Global Health Chair, Professor Brendan Crabb AC said:

“This is true leadership from Australia: stepping up to urgently support our neighbours in need, ensuring the stability of our region and protecting the health of Australians. This is us at our best.

“Australia’s gift of 8,000 COVID-19 vaccines to be immediately delivered from our own domestic stocks, as well as medical supplies, PPE and AUSMAT personnel will ensure that PNG’s healthcare workers are protected, and can continue to provide vital and life-saving care across a country in need.
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“It will be a long road ahead for PNG, but the message is clear: help is on the way.

“The rapidly declining situation in PNG has reiterated again just how relentless this virus is. A major risk if we don’t bring the spread under control is that the virus mutates, just as we have seen in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. We’ve been lucky so far that the current vaccines have shown efficacy against these new emerging variants, but we can’t say that this will continue to be the case. We must do whatever it takes to fight this virus in Australia, in our region, and across the world. Because we know this pandemic isn’t over until it’s over for everyone.


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Pacific Friends of Global Health (“Pacific Friends”) serves three of the world’s most significant global health organisations; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (“the Global Fund”), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (“Gavi”) and UNITAID. We promote a greater understanding of the three organisations and aim to mobilise political and financial support in the Pacific region. Our mission is to increase the profile of the three organisations, increase understanding of their distinct and complementary roles in the global health response, showcase synergies between the organisations, raise awareness of the global health issues in the context of the Pacific region and engage with key leaders and decision makers in the government, the media, private sector, academia, civil society organisations, including communities and foundations, in Australia and in due course, in New Zealand.


Formed in 2016, Global Health Alliance Australia cultivates a comprehensive perspective of the regional global health ecosystem and identifies non-traditional partnerships that individual organisations and institutions often can’t do. These strategic connections impact over the long term to:

  • provide a platform for the identification of new partnerships, joint ventures and professional relationships
  • enhance the capability and capacity of Australian-based global health and development organisations through creative convergence and collaboration
  • establish communities of practice across silos in global health
  • profile Australia as the global health and sustainable development hub in our region
  • build the capacity of the sector and drive sectoral reform and disruption
  • support the Alliance as a credible and respected voice

Our approach to building more effective organisations and the capacity of the sector is aligned to a longer term vision for more equitable and improved global health outcomes – mirroring the goals of similar organisations such as the Washington Global Health Alliance while at the same time forging our own alliances to combat other areas in global health.